Archive for Monday, October 31, 2011

Crowds celebrate Halloween with downtown trick-or-treating

It was a parade of the weird, wacky and wonderful, as young and old wore costumes and paraded through downtown for the annual Lawrence Trick-or-Treating event Monday night, Oct. 31, 2011.

October 31, 2011


Dozens of ghouls, goblins, zombies, princesses, cartoon characters — and at least one very convincing robot/mad scientist duo — descended on Massachusetts Street for the annual tradition of downtown trick-or-treating Monday evening.

Big Jay (Logan Dinges, left) and Baby Jay (Carter Dinges) take a short break from trick-or-treating downtown on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.

Big Jay (Logan Dinges, left) and Baby Jay (Carter Dinges) take a short break from trick-or-treating downtown on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.

Two-year-old twins Jax and Croix Kelley trick-or-treated as Dr. Seuss characters on Massachusetts Street Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.

Two-year-old twins Jax and Croix Kelley trick-or-treated as Dr. Seuss characters on Massachusetts Street Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.

On the street

What’s the best (or most clever) costume you’ve seen?

Spy vs. Spy.’ He had a good mask.

More responses

Beverly Dick, owner of House Parts, 714 Mass., passed out candy for the third year in a row because she said it was “a really great way for families to get out” on Halloween.

The streets were packed from 5 p.m. until almost 7 p.m.

Here are the stories behind just a few of the costumes spotted early in the evening:

• Twin 2-year-olds Jax and Croix Kelley, with their blue hair and red jumpsuits, got attention as Things 1 and 2 of Dr. Seuss fame. Their mother, Shawn Kelley, said that they loved the “Cat and the Hat” and so it seemed like a logical choice.

• Jerry Campbell thought Jax and Croix’s costumes were some of the cleverest he’d seen. But his own 2-year-old’s was pretty smart, too — Etta Bea trick-or-treated as her nickname, that is, with wings, a black-and-yellow “body” and a fairy-like wand, she was Bumblebee.

“Her favorite part is the stick,” Campbell said.

• Logan and Carter Dinges are brothers and, respectively, dressed as Big and Baby Jay. Logan is older and says it was his idea to go with a Jayhawk theme

• Sarah Aistrup, who passed out candy in front of Genovese, 941 Mass., said that the best costumes she had seen were the “flock of baby chicks” — well, that was until a baby bunny walked by.

We'll have more photos as the night continues. You can share your own Halloween stories with us in the comments.


ljwhirled 6 years, 1 month ago

One thing that really stood out to me and my wife was the contrast between locally owned businesses and large corporate businesses.

By and large, small local businesses had owners and staff members out on the sidewalk passing out candy to kids.

For the most part, the large corporate businesses didn't.

This further highlights my position that local companies give back and participate in our community.

Out of town corporations just want to export Lawrence dollars out of the community. For the most part they have no interest in participating in our local events and contributing to our community. Heck, most the managers don't even have authority to participate in local events.

ljwhirled 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and despite how generous the local business community was, I found it distasteful to witness local lawyers taking 30% of the candy passed out to the kids.

William McCauley 6 years, 1 month ago

Thanks to all the stores and store owners who took part, my son loved his first trick or treat down town.....

squarepusher 6 years, 1 month ago

This is a great post. Thanks for the positivity! It was great. Our son would have loved it too, but he and his mom are out of town this year. And yes, thanks to all who took part!

lunacydetector 6 years, 1 month ago

i appreciate what the downtown is trying to do, but year after year the candy is subpar. i suggest trick or treating in your own neighborhood. the candy is far superior. no comparison between a dum dum or bazooka joe downtown and a tootsie pop/reeses pieces/hershey's/m&m cookies etc. from your neighbor next door. the good stuff is in the burbs and the air is cleaner.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 1 month ago

We only had one trick-or-treater last night :-( On the other hand, we forgot to put out our jack-o-lantern. But many parts of the 'burbs have been getting fewer and fewer trick-or-treaters over the years, so I think yours is a losing battle.

Laura Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

I stopped handing out candy about five years ago. I was down to about 20 kids in a large neighborhood filled with families. It's depressing. I used to love Halloween--would decorate my yard and play spooky music. Last night I watched football and didn't hear any cars or children outside.

A friend of mine, in a little town in Pennsylvania, had 400 kids last night! No downtown giving out candy, that's why.

The downtown thing here started because of concerns for safety in the neighborhoods after dark. That's a bunch of hooey, at least in my neighborhood. I don't recall one report of violence to a child on Halloween in this town and I've lived here since the 60s.

roadwarrior 6 years, 1 month ago

I think it started for the rural kids. houses being spaced so far apart.

Pete_Schweti 6 years, 1 month ago

Loved all the "Support The Arts" folks standing around at this children's event, panhandling. Pretty exemplary. Also? Way to keep it classy.

5thgeneration 6 years, 1 month ago

I really miss the old door to door style of trick or treating. In my area, hardly anyone stays home to participate in the handing out of candy. Downtown is a drag, and always has been.

squarepusher 6 years, 1 month ago

Funny how no one really say's how much fun they had. All most will ever talk about, and this goes with nearly every topic, is how local is getting the shaft. I really don't understand what the big ordeal is between "local" and "big business". From my understanding "local" business owners have no problem purchasing from "big businesses" in their personal life. You can't tell me that they only buy local. That is impossible. So please, stop complaining about how local businesses are better than big ones. Just go out and hang on Mass without the bitterness.

hawkman8950 6 years, 1 month ago

lollipops and suckers must have been cheap this year. I swear that is all my daughter received. No weight gain for me this year for haloween lol

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 1 month ago

I was with costumed friends downtown and noticed the same thing. I made the comment to them that I would NEVER give out lollipops as my treat and they were all in agreement. On the other hand, the kids seemed to be enjoying eating them :-)

As an aside, at a store later in the evening, the man I was standing next to commented that there continues to be a misnomer going around. All these tiny candy bars are called "fun sized" but, when he and I were young, we always got full-sized candy bars...and those were the real "fun sized" ones :-) Needless to say, I agreed with him.

William McCauley 6 years, 1 month ago

Gee my son loves dum dum's, even asks to go to the bank every time we past one... Now I held his bag of goodies and there was a good mix of crap in there from downtown, the fact of the matter for all the naysayers, is MY 3.5 yr old kid had a blast and used his manners, saying trick or treat and thank you to each and every person handing out. I'm very thankful to the businesses who took part, they didn't have too do that, maybe if it's such a drag for so many of you then stay the hell home next year and leave it for the people in the community who do enjoy it and are thankful!

Or maybe start your own event and host it and hand out the candy of your choosing with a little less bitching.

hawkman8950 6 years, 1 month ago

you tell em! sic em and git em! lol poor sap

Deb Engstrom 6 years, 1 month ago

My kids went downtown and had a wonderful time. they enjoyed seeing all the people and costumes and of course getting the candy. They they went to Pioneer Ridge and visited the residents there in both assisted living and health care -- and of course, got candy. Finally they went to a neighborhood where their friends live near Holcom. there were TONS of kids and families out and about in that neighborhood and of course, more candy. It was 4 1/2 hours of fun. Thanks to all who contributed to that fun.

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