Trick-or-treaters descend on downtowns

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:12 AM

“The downtown trick-or-treating definitely grows every year,” Main Street Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Dana Kollewehr said. “In fact, I hear more and more from families that it’s a great way to have a safe trick-or-treating experience for their kids. They’re not having them go out in their neighborhoods as frequently anymore either, because it’s more fun to get to see everyone’s costumes in the light of day.”

The event spanned three blocks of downtown Grand Haven. Organizers closed Washington Avenue from Harbor Drive to Third Street, and merchants on both sides of the road handed candy to children from 4-6 p.m.

To see more local Halloween photos, click here.

Kollewehr said this was also the first time in several years that the downtown has been obstacle-free during the Halloween event.

“It’s definitely nice to have the construction fences and makeshift streets out of the way here for this year’s Halloween,” she said. “It’s nice to see everything out of the way and back to normal.”

Randy Swiftney, who was handing out candy at First Reformed Church at the corner of Third and Washington, said at least 500 people stopped at his booth by 5 p.m.

“It’s been a great turnout (and) some really great costumes,” he said. “... One gentleman had his kids in a wagon that was made out to be a train. It was very elaborate.”

Abby Anderson, 8, who was dressed as a dinner table, said she was enjoying her time in downtown Grand Haven, and was finding a lot of neat costumes and treats.

“I’ve gotten a lot (of candy),” she said.

Nicole Sportell, who was accompanying her family from Fruitport, said the downtown Halloween event was something that they looked forward to every year. She said it was nice to have the Grand Haven event, given the fact that family lives in an area that makes traditional trick-or-treating difficult.

“We usually pretty much do this,” Sportell said. “We live in the country on 11 acres, so this is perfect for us.”

The merchants in downtown Spring Lake also handed out treats to kids from 4-6 p.m. Monday.

Spring Lake Village Manager Ryan Cotton, who wore a Charlie Brown costume and handed out treats at the Village Hall, said about 150 trick-or-treaters stopped by Monday afternoon.

To see videos of the trick-or-treating, click here.

“It was a little lighter turnout than other years,” Cotton said. “We’ve had 200 before.”

The Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department posted crossing guards at Buchanan and Cutler streets to assist goblins in crossing Savidge Street. For the first time, an officer was also stationed at Cutler, according to police department administrative assistant Lori Spelde.

“I think it went really well,” Spelde said. “The crossing guards went out with stop signs and stopped traffic.”

Tribune reporter Marie Havenga contributed to this report.

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