Heavy on the Halloween

MARSHALL – Local kids were out and about in search of some spooky fun on Thursday night, but they didn’t have to go far. A number of Marshall businesses and community groups celebrated Halloween this year by holding their own trick-or-treating events. The family-friendly events seem to be catching on as an alternative to going door-to-door in search of candy.

“It’s fun to see all of the different costumes,” said Dawson Reese. Reese, dressed as a hot dog, was giving out candy to trick-or-treaters in the parking lot at St. Stephen Lutheran Church.

St. Stephen was having its second annual “Trunk or Treat” event on Thursday. Instead of knocking on doors, trick-or-treaters met costumed volunteers passing out goodies from the trunks of decorated vehicles in the church parking lot.

Participants put a lot of creativity into their displays. In addition to some spooky scenes, there were also a hayrack and a duck blind. One group of volunteers wore full-body black suits, all the better to help them blend in with the interior of a car trunk and pop out at the unsuspecting.

The masks might have looked uncomfortable, but “They’re pretty easy to see through,” said Devyn Payne.

Kids in costume were also a pretty common sight along Main Street late Thursday afternoon, as several downtown businesses opened their doors to trick-or-treaters. In addition to filling up their candy bags, kids could also take part in activities at the Lyon County Museum, or donate food for the local food shelf at Studio B Photography. The line outside the studio went down the hall and almost out to the parking lot, as photographer Mandy Boucek snapped free portraits of kids in their costumes in exchange for the food donations.

But kids weren’t the only ones having a good time as they walked from stop to stop on the trick-or-treat route. Parents and Marshall businesspeople said they liked the idea.

“I think it’s good to have it in a business area. It’s a lot more safe for kids, rather than going out on streets where there’s less lighting,” said Rebecca Tarin, who was giving out candy at Pretty and Plump Purses at the corner of Lyon Street and 3rd Street. Tarin said special events like this were also a great way to encourage people to look around downtown.

“We get a lot of local people who come in,” she said.

Angie Stucker was inclined to agree with Tarin. While trick-or-treating with her children downtown, Stucker said she found herself checking out the businesses they visited.

“You think, ‘maybe I should come down here more often,'” Stucker said. “I think it’s been a good idea.”

Allan Perez said a big part of the fun of helping to hand out candy at the Note Gallery on Main Street was getting to meet the people who came in.

“I love it,” Perez said. “I’m from Chicago, and we would have downtown trick-or-treating there.” Having holiday events like that are a great way “for the community to get closer together,” he said.