The Hometown Halloween Festival is one for the ages … all ages
By Emma Jarman
Holiday season has officially begun. Halloween, the first in a slew of decorated and celebrated events famous for keeping hearts warm through the cold months, is upon us. While the day of the dead has yet to attain the premature decorating practices of Christmas or the political correctness of the menorah in your Catholic neighbor’s nativity scene, it gives those who cling to September with the iron grip of Superman the kick in the pants we need to look around and realize … it’s fall. The pumpkins say so.
The City of Troy’s residents this year, as they have every year for more than 10 years, are ready to get a jump start on celebrating with their Halloween Hometown Festival. Troy Main Street in collaboration with the Troy Noon Optimist Club -a local group focusing on its community, the companies and people in it, and ways to help youth- put on the annual festival boasting a parade of costumed families and a morning of urban trick or treating.
Children up to 5th grade age are invited, Thursday, Oct. 27, to drag their parents downtown in full Halloween gear at 9:30 a.m. in the Hobart Government Center parking lot to congregate before the great parade. The official procession begins at 9:45 a.m. and progresses from the Troy Miami Public Library east on Main Street, culminating in the downtown square.
The Halloween Hometown Festival is absolutely, as they say, all about the kids. After they strut their stuff down Main Street there will be a fiercely competitive costume contest. Categories are judged in age groups from infants to 5th grade, including groups for pets and families. Feeling a very Brady Halloween coming on? Dress the part and bring the clan down to test your styling abilities. Always wondered what your four-legged best friend would look like with a pair of wings on her shoulders and a tutu flouncing her hindquarters? Get your furry princess and walk on over (with the kids, of course) to the downtown square for the costume contest and to see what other sorts of homemade beauties your neighbors came up with this year.
“It’s all about the younger kids. It’s a lot of fun with the kids and the costumes. The best part is that a lot of the costumes are homemade and they’re very creative,” said Michelle Dubbs, administrative marketing assistant to Troy Main Street.
After the costume contest, not only will the top three contestants in each group be recognized, so begins the aforementioned urban trick or treating. Rather than letting your offspring gallivant around town taking candy from neighbors, strangers and babies, escort them to trick or treat local business fronts in downtown Troy from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Individual city merchants will have decorated storefronts and perhaps costumed employees handing out candy to passers by who know the secret password (hint: it’s the same password that works with neighbors, strangers and babies this time of year). A map of participating businesses and more information will be available at 10:30 a.m. in the square.
Also, make sure at least one adult is with each group of underagers to comply with festival rules and to perhaps get some killer deals. Some of the merchants hand out candy to the kids and coupons for their merchandise to the six foot, scowling Cleopatra trailing the group of screaming M&Ms sing-songingly requesting esteemed local businessmen to smell their feet and to fork over the king sized Butterfingers. Last year more than 700 people showed up just for the trick or treating, so nobody is ever alone.
The Halloween Hometown Festival is a great, local way to dive into the holiday season. Not only do you get the chance to strut your DIY pride in the form of your childrens’ perfectly hand-sewn Peter Pan and Wendy costumes, you shock your metabolism into overdrive with sugar just in time for the Thanksgiving turkey tryptophan overhaul.
And, if terrorizing every corner store in sight isn’t enough, or if you have children over the age of 10 who still want in on the sweet, sweet action of this hellish holiday, regular, citywide trick or treating will be Monday, Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. And yes, we know, this occasion is typically reserved for the Thursday before Halloween in Troy, but this year is special and we get to celebrate Halloween on Halloween.
In the spirit of the season, have a happy Halloween!
Reach DCP editorial intern and freelance writer Emma Jarman at EmmaJarman@DaytonCityPaper.com