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Trick-or-treat event planned for downtown Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — Downtown Houlton is the place to be this Halloween for all parents looking for a safe environment to bring their children trick or treating.

The southerly side of Market Square will be closed to automotive traffic 5-7 p.m. to allow little ghosts and goblins to safely visit more than 30 tables that will be set up with people distributing  candy. 

The idea for a downtown Halloween event started with Bastion’s Tavern owners suggesting the trick or treat activity in Market Square. They approached the local Masonic Lodge to assist and soon the idea started gaining traction.

Kimberly Coker, one of the event organizers, said the idea came up during a conversation with customers at Bastion’s Tavern, when several people lamented that they did not get any trick-or-treaters in their neighborhood.

In order to facilitate the event, a permit was needed from the Houlton Police Department. Dave Rairdon, a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 96 in Houlton, is also the animal control officer for the police department.

“If you live out in the country and you love trick or treating, we want you to come to downtown Houlton,” Rairdon said. “People can bring their table and set right up. In addition, we hope some people will dress up themselves.”

Aside from the businesses located on that side of the street, a large number of businesses came forward and expressed an interest in putting up tables to pass out candy to the youngsters, Reardon said.

In addition, Houlton Wesleyan Church will hold its annual “Trunk or Treat” event at the church on Kelleran Street.

Rairdon said he planned to reach out to members of the Linneus Haunted Hayride to see if any of those “actors” would be willing to dress up and walk around downtown during the event. In addition, the Rainbow girls, a youth group for young females sponsored by the Masons, will also be on hand passing out free hot chocolate and coffee.

“If all goes well, we would love to make this a recurring event and do even more next year,” Coker said. “Market Square is a community gathering place and this seems like a great use of that space.”

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