Downtown trick or treat set for Halloween night
It’s upon us. The one night of the year when downtown Ellijay might as well be named “Candy Central.”
The newly formed Downtown Ellijay Business and Community Association will be taking the reins of this year’s in-town Halloween night events that will include candy given out by local businesses along Main and River Street, as well as costume contests for kids and adults.
Trick or treating will take place around the downtown square area from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.
“All the (downtown) merchants will be handing out candy, along with some businesses and nonprofits from other parts of Ellijay,” said downtown business association chairman Steve Cortes. “Most of the merchants will have somebody sitting (on the sidewalk) outside their store.”
Cortes said costume contests will be held along North Main Street around 7 p.m. A stretch of North Main to the North Avenue crossing will be closed from 4-8:30 p.m. The roundabout will remain open, confirmed Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey
“We’ll be diverting traffic down North Avenue,” Lacey said.
Halloween night never fails to draw a crowd downtown, Cortes confirmed.
“The first year we did it, I was amazed at the number of kids who were down here,” said Cortes, the owner of downtown shop Whim-Z Boutique. “It’s not a moneymaker for us, but I wouldn’t be able to stop it if I wanted to! I’d say we usually have between 2,000-4,000 kids (come out).”
In East Ellijay...
Businesses in the Old Orchard Square (Ingles) shopping center in East Ellijay will also be participating in trick-or-treating, said Police Chief Larry Callahan.
“They’ll also have an ambulance, firetrucks and a couple of patrol cars (out there for the kids),” said Callahan.
There’s no firm time for stop and start of trick-or- treating in neighborhoods or residential areas, confirmed Callahan.
“I guess people’s schedules have dictated a change in that. A lot of times the kids are already out (trick- or-treating) by 4 or 5 o’clock,” he said.
Lacey said one thing some parents of trick or treaters might not think about on Halloween is that safe transport of kids is still the law.
“We will be out enforcing our neighborhoods making sure things are running smoothly. We want the public to know the dangers of something we’ve had problems with in the past, which is people having their children riding in the back of a minivan with the back hatch open. Kids falling from the backs of trucks or vans is a real issue and all the child seat and safety laws apply even during Halloween,” he said.
“Also, if they’re going to wear dark clothing, they should try to add some kind of reflective strip to their costumes,” Lacey advised.