With weather perfect for ghost, ghouls and gremlins to wander the streets, Harvest Night attracted a record breaking crowd to the downtown streets of Farmington on Oct. 30 to celebrate Halloween in safe and family-friendly environment.
The annual event, presented by the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce, was held once again behind Long Hall and brought games, costume contests and even a little bit of magic to those in attendance. Additionally, several downtown businesses opened their door to trick-or-treaters to fill their bags with candy.
“It was a fantastic evening,” said Laura Raymer, director of operations for the chamber. “This year, based on the number of vendors we spoke to, we easily had 1,200 people participate. Each year it continues to grow.”
Dressed up as everything from police officers and fire fighters, to princess Elsa and Anna, and everything in between, children and parents packed the sidewalks going from door to door gathering goodies from local businesses.
“This is great for the kids and the parents,” said Adam Wells, who was with his son trick-or-treating during Harvest Night. “I really like the peace of mind an event like this brings. It’s so trustworthy. You don’t have to worry about the candy the kids are receiving.”
For most parents, the evening did bring a sense of security as well as a sense of community belonging as both the city and local businesses banded together to offer a family friendly venue.
“We have come downtown every year since our kids were born,” said Kristen Reed, who was crossing Washington Street with her son Reed. “We are so glad that businesses are doing this. It really makes things much easier for us as parents than going to big neighborhoods and worrying the whole time.”
For other families, Friday night’s Halloween extravaganza was a chance to bond as a family. Sarah Van Zee and her two sons, Elias and Arie, took advantage of the evening to dress thematically as the three of the came dressed as a popular card game.
“My youngest son’s favorite came is Uno,” Van Zee said. “We made it a family affair and came dressed as Uno cards. Since I am an art teacher, I decided I use my skills, so I made our costumes.”
Although there was a continuous stream of kids for most of the evening, business owners readily admitted how much fun it was seeing all the different costume this year.
“It was just crazy,” said Patrice Parson, the owner of Ophelia’s. “We went through 20 bags of candy in 25 minutes. But I think it’s great for the community. It gets everyone involved.”
As the Halloween revelers made their way towards Long Hall, the Halloween revelers were able to their chance on games, spend some time in the bouncy house and participate in costume show sponsored by New Era Bank.
A late addition to the Harvest Night line-up was an old fashion magic show given by Randy Windsor and Zach Zane finished off Friday night’s activities.
“When I peeked in on the magic show, every seat was filled,” Raymer said. “They were a great act. We asked if they would like to come back next year, and they have already accepted.”
With this year’s Harvest Night in the books, the chamber is already mulling over ideas for next year.
“This is a fun event and we really look forward to it,” Raymer said. “But we could not have made this such a successful evening if it wasn’t for all of this years sponsors. We can’t thank them enough.”
Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or firstname.lastname@example.org