Downtown should host trick-or-treat

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We were pleased at the turnout this past weekend for the Blues and Heritage Festival. Communities that have active, vibrant downtowns and communities where neighbors play together are stronger, safer and just plain better than communities where neighborhoods go dark each weekend and downtowns are shuttered.

This is the season where our downtown shines its brightest—on Nov. 7, Picayune Main Street will host the annual Fall Street Festival and later in the season, Picayune Main Street will host Christmas on the Rails. We have a downtown we can take pride in, and we’re happy to sing its praises.

But this weekend, Halloween weekend, there is nothing officially planned for downtown and that is a shame.

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Years ago we used to have a business trick-or-treat event. The tradition is still alive, albeit on Friday, in Poplarville’s downtown.

But not in Picayune.

This is not to say there’s nothing to do—parents who want a safer alternative to neighborhood trick-or-treating need only go to the Crosby Arboretum’s Spooky Woods event Halloween evening and plenty of church groups will be organizing activities. But the fact is, downtown is, by its nature, in a central part of the city and it’s a very visible area, and so most parents have an easier time going there than anywhere else in town.

Also, as it is so visible, the little goblins and ghouls would have been more prominent—which can itself be fun for the public. Even folks without kids can appreciate cute costumes.

But finally, a downtown Halloween event just gives one more reason for people to visit downtown—and that’s always a good thing. Whether the public buys merchandise, a cup of coffee or merely catches up with a neighbor, our downtown is a perfect meeting place so we hope our downtown association will consider hosting a trick-or-treat event next year.