Superheroes and little monsters flock to Trick-or-Treat on Main Street

By Brenda Sullivan - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Thu., Oct. 31, 2013
Adding to the Halloween spirit at Trick or Treat on Main Street in Manchester are (l-r) Melanie Dunn and Kevin Merkel in costume as Sally and Jack Skellington from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and owners of the Great Harvest Bread Co., Dale and Jean Roberts as the Scarecrow and Wicked Witch from 'The Wizard of Oz.' Photos by Brenda Sullivan.
Adding to the Halloween spirit at Trick or Treat on Main Street in Manchester are (l-r) Melanie Dunn and Kevin Merkel in costume as Sally and Jack Skellington from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and owners of the Great Harvest Bread Co., Dale and Jean Roberts as the Scarecrow and Wicked Witch from 'The Wizard of Oz.' Photos by Brenda Sullivan.

As fallen leaves blew across downtown Main Street, they were chased by masked superheroes and little furry monsters in pursuit of sweet treats at the fifth annual Safe Trick or Treat on Main Street, part of the Halloween Happenings and Scarecrow Festival hosted by the Downtown Manchester Special Services District. www.downtownmanchester.org/

At Hilltop BBQ, one of the businesses handing out candy for the event, owner Ernie Piatti also provided printed paper bags for the children to collect their treats. Toward the end of the day, he estimated more than 1,000 trick-or-treaters had visited.

This figure was confirmed later by Downtown Manchester Special Services District Manager Tana Parsaletti. "I think this is a new record," she said.

Besides collecting candy, children also enjoyed activities such as creating sidewalk chalk art, decorating pumpkins and face-painting.

The Oct. 26 event was the culmination of a celebration that began earlier in the month when scarecrows began popping up all along Main Street. One of the most eye-catching of these was a pirate ship in front of the Bennet Academy representing Jack Sparrow and His Pirates of the Caribbean, a group collaboration of students, school staff and community volunteers.

A total of 44 scarecrows whose creators included businesses, civic and social groups, families and individuals lined Main Street. “This is the most creative group of scarecrows we have seen in the five years that the event has been taking place,” said the contest’s coordinator, Sabina Wilson of the Downtown District.

Saturday’s events included an awards ceremony with prizes and certificates presented to the winners by the Dancing Bears fountain next to the Mary Cheney Library. Later, on the nearby steep stone steps of Center Memorial Park, about 100 children in costume and their parents posed for the traditional group shot before gathering for a parade down Main Street.

Top winners in the Grand Prize category of the scarecrow contest this year are:

People’s Choice – First Place “Jack Sparrow and His Pirates of the Caribbean” by Bennet Academy students; Second Place – a tie – “The Happy Bus Driver” by Christina George and Diane Lombardi and “A Day at the Beach” by Saint James School; Third Place “Smartie!” by Assumption School Grade 5.

And in the Facebook Favorite contest – First Place “The Great Catsby” by Jessica Sokol and Kevin Sullivan; Second Place “David Letterman’s Top Ten Reasons to Visit Downtown Manchester” by Pam and Ron Evans and Fran Debonis; Third Place “Jack Sparrow and His Pirates of the Caribbean” by Bennet Academy Students.

Special Recognition Awards went to – Northstar Dance Academy for “Belinda Ballerina,” as Most Graceful;  Beller’s Music for “Alby Bach,” as Most Dramatic; Boy Scout Troop 25 of Center Congregational Church for “Climbin’ Scout,” as Most Athletic; Frame Dimensions for “Kramer the Framer,” as Most Artistic; Dawn Stender of the Manchester Elks for “The Great Heart,” as Best Craftsmanship; Created by Savers for “Fantasy Fashionista,” as Most Fashionable; MHS Girls’ Cross Country Team for “MHS XC Runs!” as Fastest Scarecrow; Tellers at First Niagara Bank for “Cash Cat,” as Most Imaginative; John Hovey of the Manchester Historical Society for “Farmer Scarecrow," as Best Classic Scarecrow;  the LYMI (Love You Mean It) Fund for “Our AMYzing Angel,” as Most Inspirational; Manchester Dog Owners Group, Inc. for “Have a Ball,” as Animal  Love;  Karen Lepak for “Haunted Bird Feeder,” as Most Creative Nature Inspired; and Employees of Federal Highway Administration for “Safety Scarecrow,” for Best Representation of Theme.

To view more photos and information about this year’s event, visit the Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/DowntownManchesterScarecrowFestival.


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