The Valley Breeze
Disney filmmakers eye Chase Farm Park
By NICOLE DOTZENROD
Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson
LINCOLN – The Sanderson Sisters are back.
That is, the trio of witches played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are reuniting this fall to film a sequel to the beloved cult classic film “Hocus Pocus.”
Filmmakers have been given permission to build a set and film scenes for the Disney movie right here in Lincoln.
Representatives from Fairy Dust Productions, a Disney company, came before the Lincoln Town Council recently to pitch their set idea for Chase Farm, which was described as a 1600s village, complete with two-story building facades.
“Think: Plymouth Plantation,” said location manager Alex Berard. “We just like the backdrop of Chase Farm. It has that old New England farm look.”
Spoiler alert: Asked by the council whether pyrotechnics would be involved, filmmakers said they’d be looking to do a controlled burn on one of the buildings.
“We have to get our special effects people involved with the fire department to schedule a controlled burn of one of the buildings,” Berard said in July. “… But no explosions.”
Most of the filming will be done at night, or early in the morning.
The original film is set in Salem, Mass., opening in the year 1693 when Winifred, Sarah and Mary Sanderson are accused of witchcraft and set to be executed. Thanks to a curse, the witches are summoned back to life on Halloween night 300 years later to wreak havoc on the town.
Representatives from Fairy Dust Productions will likely sign a set agreement with the town, which includes a payment to Lincoln for allowing them to film at the park.
The details of the agreement haven’t been finalized yet, but the set has already begun to take shape at Chase Farm Park. Film crews are eyeing early October to begin shooting scenes there.
The film is scheduled to be released on Disney+ in the fall of 2022.
Though fans of the movie will be excited to experience a sprinkle of Disney magic in Lincoln, the filming will directly impact plans for the town’s 150th-anniversary parade set for early October.
Lincoln’s Memorial Day Parade was postponed due to COVID-19 this year and last. It was rebranded to the 150th Anniversary Parade and pushed to Columbus Day weekend.
Due to filming at Chase Farm, the parade has been postponed again to Saturday, Oct. 30. The event will conclude at Chase Farm with a food truck event.
Members of the parade committee said more information will be coming in the next few weeks about their plans for this year’s event.