New Year’s Eve Bash at Storybook Ranch

Consider Saving Big Now by clicking HERE.


HIT THE GOOGLE PLUS BUTTON AND ALSO SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS. * * * * CLASSIFIEDS: E-MAIL ad copy to Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and our monthly upcoming events email.! Our Readers – Collin County Demographics: Shop Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Widgets

Pumpkins, Pony Rides and Ghost Ranch

Storybook Ranch and River Ranch Educational Charities have lined up some fun for the kids:

Storybook Ranch’s Great Pumpkin Patch.

It’s Storybook’s Pumpkin Patch & Ghost Ranch Haunted Hayride Time!  

Dry Bones Old West Town at Storybook Ranch.

Never too early to plan for summer and holiday rides and special events.

Not everyone knows what haunts await during Halloween on Custer Road.

Grand parents want to see pics of grand kids and pumpkins.

Write your own story time memories at Wayne Kirk’s Storybook Ranch.

Find out about night rides and Oktoberfest and Halloween events at

Click for Today’s GROUPON Deal. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and our monthly upcoming events email.! Our Readers – Collin County Demographics: Shop Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Widgets

Randy Travis riding into town Friday

Fans of country singer Randy Travis can look for him at Storybook Ranch on Friday evening.

He’s coming to McKinney to ride horses. Plus, a movie is being filmed at Storybook Ranch at the old Western town.

Please share this story with your friends.

40-50% Off Selected Swimwear for the Family *** Save 40% on One Dozen Rainbow Roses + get 12 FREE + FREE Chocolates and Vase, only $29.99 Expires 6/30/2011

Bloomin’ and Boomin’ Wild West Freedom Fest

Bloomin Boomin is a month-long celebration of McKinney’s community culture including the arts, humanities and agricultural tourism.

Join us at Storybook Ranch for
Wild West Freedom Fest
July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
  • Friday: Rodeo, Country & Western Music and Dancin’
  • Saturday: Concerts all day long, 1870’s Saloon, Casino
  • Sunday: Boot-Scootin’ and Music

Daily Activities Include…
Pony Rides, Petting Zoo, Bounce Houses, Gunfight Shows, Face Painting, Wagon Rides, Horse Shoe Toss, and much more. The event benefits River Ranch Educational Charities. Go to

Roping and riding

Love to ride horses? Storybook Ranch is offering horse camps this summer at the ranch off Custer Road. McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller joined the campers on Friday at Storybook Ranch.

 Photos by J.B. Blocker

When you call Storybook Ranch at 972-369-0874, tell them you saw it on COLLIN COUNTY HEADLINES.COM.

In Celina …


Salvation Army refilling pantry with help from Phantom’s Ghost Town

Phantom’s Haunted Ghost Town at McKinney’s landmark Storybook Ranch, the newly restored circa 1850’s western village is answering the call to aid the North Texas Salvation Army’s call for pantry items.

Sergeants Carl and Kel Ungurait informed the local media, “Our pantries are under a great strain and we really need some extra help.”

“Peanut Butter and Jelly is a great support item for families who desperately need supplemental food items. It goes a long way. Any canned foods are needed to fill the near empty pantry. The gratitude and hope these needy families express keeps us going, but it’s heartbreaking for us to look at our limited pantry.”

River Ranch Educational Charities (RREC) is currently operating one of their biggest annual fund raisers in the form of a 10 acre haunted Ghost Town which is open at dusk on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the month of October at the Storybook Ranch. A pumpkin patch complete with hay bale maze, petting zoo, and pony rides has been set up on the Custer Road side of the 20 acre Collin County landmark.

Wayne Kirk, the director for RREC responds, “I am a big fan of the Salvation Army and what they do for our community. After hearing about the extreme need for food donations, we have decided to take $4 off the $25 Haunted Tour to anyone who brings canned foods to help out our neighbors.

Students in Collin County can get in on Sunday night for $15 with a can of food for the Salvation Army pantry.

The Phantom, James Dunn, is renown for developing Haunted Houses in the North Texas area. He has entertained thousands with his creative and well managed operation including the Texas State Fair.

McKinney Deputy Chief of Police Kim Lee Malelopszy commented, “The Storybook operation should be a used as an example of a well prepared and safely managed venue. They took the time to meet with the Fire Marshall, Police, and Fire to coordinate their safety standards.”

J.B. Blocker

Phantom Haunted Village opens Friday

By J.B. Blocker
There was a huge turnout for the Phantom’s Haunt actors call at the Ghost Town at Storybook Ranch in McKinney. Eventually, 85 stayed for the full tour and a chance to be a part of a Halloween production that will run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at dusk for the month of October. The haunted tours start Friday and will journey through a wooded, county road into a world of lights, sounds, and surprises.
The Phantom, James Dunn, and Wayne Kirk of River Ranch Educational Charities at Storybook Ranch set down the law and kept the largely teenaged bat boys and tour ghouls captivated and motivated to find their place in the Halloween adventure.
One attending parent was Mark P. Yablon. His oldest daughter, Natalie, was chosen to be a narrator after she made up an impromtu ghost story to land the opportunity. “I was totally impressed and very surprised at the way that many behaved so attentively for so long,” Yablon said.
The Phantom and his men herded the excited want to actors around the back 10 acres of the Storybook Ranch at Custer and Stonebridge.
Expect the experience to get better with every performance as each member of the team gains in experience with the heavily wooded areas,the two haunted houses, a memorable walk through the cemetery, and Dry Bones western village.

A Storybook wedding for the Deputy Chief

By J.B. Blocker

The first wedding since the reopening of Dry Gulch western village in the back 10 acres of Storybook Ranch in McKinney came together like magic.
Mark down Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 was a historic night for many reasons. The last time the Sun, Earth, Moon, and Jupiter were in opposition (on a vertical plane) was in 1951. The next closest sighting will be in 2022.
On Thursday evening, the first newlyweds from the Storybook reopening were able to view this rarity knowing that all their stars were aligned.
For McKinney’s Deputy Chief of Police Kim Lee and her new husband Sean Malolepszy, the 23rd has become life changing. Both of their birthdays are on the 23rd and now they are Mr. and Mrs. Malolepszy.
The Chief will take on her new last name. It will be much harder for people to say or spell.
The wedding included Sean’s children Chynna and Maddie, and Kim’s children Kenzie and Jason along with a close collection of family and friends.


When Justice of the Peace Paul Raleeh arrived, he shared his long relationship with Storybook.
“I used to work events here 20 years ago as an officer on security detail. I remember working with this good looking blonde. We even baked cookies together for an event. I married her!”
On Thursday, he officiated as Sean and the Chief were married, too!
In a quaint, personal, and sometimes humorous ceremony the I-Do’s were recorded by McKinney photographer Juan Carlos Cortez and can be viewed on-line at
The whole affair was made possible by a series of coincidences.
The day after the couple decided that Sept. 23rd was the perfect date, Chief Lee visited Storybook Ranch for the first time to help Directors Wayne Kirk and Vanessa Fry coordinate security for upcoming events.
When Kim saw the little white chapel with 100 year old stained glass from the original Adophus that had been moved in years ago from Clarksville, Texas, she mentioned her intentions to marry in a private ceremony at the courthouse.
Wayne would have none of that!
He insisted on using the chapel. The Chief was concerned about the details on such short notice, especially since judges are readily available at the court house but not so much outside on short notice.
I happened to have JP Paul Raleeh on my speed dial, and he always responds to me so I took a shot and explained the situation. As you read above, the Justice of the Peace had his own personal reasons for offering his services.
Next, Wayne volunteered me to take the wedding photos. Now I have hundreds of photos published in the locals each year, but they are of the impromptu event category. This was the wedding for the Deputy Chief of Police in my hometown!
So, I called my friend Juan Carlos to take the photos and volunteered my guitar and a wedding song for my part.
I told Kim, I don’t do “Here Comes the Bride,” but I would be honored to play a song of my own for their First Dance.


You know that Go Daddy commercial with Danica Patrick getting pulled over by a woman officer who pulls off her sunglasses, let’s her long luxurious hair down, and then reveals her Go Daddy shirt? No one really believes that the women in all the cop TV series are really that hot in real life.
I’ve known Kim for about two years. I’ve only seen her with her hair pulled back tight, her shades on, and a bullet proof vest under full police uniform.
Who knew? Look at their wedding photos at and you’ll see what I mean.
Sean knew!
Congratulations to the new couple, and best wishes.

J.B. Blocker is a media consultant with Impress Me Media based in Historic Downtown McKinney, Texas.

Birthday blessings from River Ranch

By J.B. Blocker, Viewpoint
Happy Birthday to Jenny, Maya, Makayla, James, and Jonathan

The Big Day of the year, the my day, the only day we really call our own, is our BIRTHDAY.

Patricia Morris and her group of volunteers think about it all the time. They can’t bear the thought that that children would go through their special day without a little special attention.

They know the smiles, and they see the effects that their little Christian-based organization has been having on children. BirthdayBlessing is an all volunteer 501(c)(3), not for profit organization that sponsors birthday parties for children in Collin County. A little goodwill goes a long way.

They want organizations to send recommendations for others and then come see how much better you feel and share the moment with the happy, grateful families that you touch.

Each birthday party for about a dozen includes a party location, special personalized cakes, a pair of shoes, a complete outfit, various gifts, and a Bible. Of course, the prayer of thanks for each child is also a special moment when every one is sharing a moment with God and child.

River Ranch Educational Charities at the Frisco Horse Park on 121 and Coit is the monthly scene for many of these birthdays over the last year. Last week, five children who were suggested by the Boys and Girls club and the Samaritan Inn had their day.

Each child was able to invite friends from church and school to share the fun. They rode ponies and horses. They bounced, petted, screamed, and chased each other. They swung, ate, chased goats and sheep, and then got chased by a mother hen scrambling to hide a dozen orphan chicks from three dozen curious children.

In the stables, corals, and pastures that border 121 are more than 100 horses, a full assortment of other eqine, and of course, a petting zoo overseen by an impressive Peacock. Lessons are being given to the north, trail rides go on, stalls are being mucked, food and water is being moved around, and the flavor of the Old West is seeping in to the pores of the birthday guest.

One Sunday afternoon each month (depending on weather), the Frisco Horse Park provides their venue and staff for Western birthdays.


I was there Sunday. I saw the joy. Heard all the giggles and screams of delight. I took them in to the goat pens and showed them what a 5-pound lamb and kid goat felt like to hold and gently pet. I saw the awed respect for a 1,000-pound beast that will give you a ride.

Children are cutting their own cake supplied by bakeries like Elizabeth Cakes and Hands on Design of Allen. Opening presents they hoped for but never expected. Anxious to try on their new shoes and clothes, these children not only wanted, but needed.

I was that 5-year-old orphan in Japan who thought no one would adopt me because all I wore was old hand me downs. I remember almost every thing about my 6th birthday with my new family. She made me a chocolate locomotive cake with cream pie in the middle. My new mom! And the new shirt and tie I could wear to church with nice shiny black shoes like my new dad. I was so proud I can still feel it. I have a photo where I am dressed in my new family.

This is as rewarding a program as I have seen for instant and long term gratification. And it’s great for the Birthday kids too. is where you can contact Patricia. Or you can call 214-986-2377 to offer birthday support in the way of volunteers, food, toys, gifts, clothes, or other locations to hold parties. You’ll feel better, I promise.

J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Historic Downtown McKinney.

%d bloggers like this: