“The time of day that was originally chosen, which is 3 to 5 [p.m.] is excellent, because we see a lot of mothers with their young children in strollers and small children that are just out of their day care or preschool or kindergarten classes,” said William Tatum, pharmacy manager for Young Brothers Pharmacy. “They come a lot of times directly from school to trick-or-treat. It’s safe and popular because it’s parent-friendly and child-friendly.
“It’s all goodwill. It’s excellent for ... people who are new to the area who are not familiar with downtown Cartersville to see what downtown is like, to actually walk the sidewalks and go into the businesses, and to experience the downtown Cartersville area. We’ve always participated. I can’t remember the [exact] number of years. We have some form of music and my wife this year will be giving out the candy. She’ll dress up and in years past I’ve dressed up like a pumpkin. It’s just fun. It’s just real good, clean, old-fashioned fun. ... We’ve always just made a special effort to try to participate as much as we could and make it special.”
To be held Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m., the trick-or-treating event will draw thousands of children to the downtown business district. Most of the action will take place around Main Street, under the Church Street bridge, Public Square, Wall Street and Friendship Plaza. Dressed up in their favorite costumes, children will obtain goodies at candy stations and participating businesses and city agencies. Store owners partaking in the event will display an orange flier on their businesses’ front doors or windows.
Citing safety and financial concerns, the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority announced Oct. 2 that this will be the final year it will implement the event.
“The Downtown Development Authority is set up by the Georgia Legislature so it is part of the city government,” DDA Manager Tara Currier said. “So taking into consideration the fact that we are a government agency, the extreme number of children that are anticipated to attend and have been attending this event year after year and thus creating a safety concern with the traffic, and the amount of money that the Downtown Development Authority has been spending, we have decided that this will be the last year that the DDA will spearhead this Halloween event.
“This event started with the merchants back in the ’80s,” she said, adding merchants who want to continue passing out candy may do so without DDA assistance in the future. “It was a merchant-led and a merchant-implemented activity. It fell to the DDA several years ago when the economy was a little rough. So we helped alleviate the cost. But again it is a significant cost to the DDA. ... It started with just 100 or 200 [people] in the late ’80s and now has grown to several thousand.”
For more information about Downtown Trick-or-Treating, call 770-607-3480.