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Halloween event planned downtown

Downtown Mount Airy was a rather desolate place on Halloween 2020 because of the COVID-19 scare, but trick-or-treaters will return to a familiar holiday haunt in the central business district this year.

A Halloween observance was long held downtown in which participating merchants passed out candy to witches, monsters, superheroes and any other costumed characters showing up — before being strangled by the coronavirus last year.

In its place, a drive-through trick-or-treat event was conducted behind Mount Airy School which was heavily attended.

This year on Oct. 31 from 3 to 5 p.m., the observance of Halloween will return to downtown Mount Airy and in a big way that incorporates an added involvement by participants from elsewhere in the city.

It will include a free to the public trick-or-treat/trunk-or-treat event that is being coordinated through the Downtown Business Association and Mount Airy Visitors Center.

“We are inviting local businesses and community organizations to set up downtown to pass out candy,” Jenny Smith of the visitors center explained.

Merchants traditionally participating will be joined for the first time by entities from outside that venue for the candy distribution. This will feature such businesses as the 13 Bones restaurant, Chili’s Bar and Grill and others, including the Blue Bear Bus of Mount Airy City Schools which is to offer walk-through trick-or-treating.

As of Thursday, about 20 different entities were lined up so far, a number expected to grow as Halloween approaches.

“If your business or organization is interested, please let me know,” Smith added in putting out an open invitation, although no sign-up deadline is involved.

“They can just contact me and we’ll find a place for them,” she said Thursday. “There is plenty of room on Main Street.”

“We’re going to close Main Street from Oak to Pine (streets),” Downtown Business Association President Phil Marsh said, which will occur about 2 p.m. on Halloween.

This will allow those distributing goodies to be positioned along that portion of North Main, along with participating merchants.

“We’ve got some stores that will be open for it,” Marsh said, which normally would be closed Sunday, the day Halloween falls on this year, whose operators are planning to participate.

While the downtown Halloween observance typically draws huge crowds, Smith believes that especially will be the case this year due to it being one of the few local holiday events held that Sunday. Others have been moved to different days for various reasons.

Local radio station WSYD will host a costume contest for kids (separated by age groups), pets and families, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

The last costume contest in 2019 featured about 90 contestants and was held at the downtown gazebo on the corner of Main and Oak streets — a heavy turnout that Marsh said prompted a shift to a more-spacious location this year.

“We’re going to put the stage up out in the middle of the street,” he said.



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