By Joshua Maloni
Halloween – trick-or-treating, in particular – is normally seen as a time for children to cash in on a candy cornucopia. But this year, the Village of Lewiston wants to make sure parents, guardians and big siblings get in on the action, too.
Over the next two weekends, locally owned retail stores and restaurants are offering spooktacular specials and devilishly delightful deals.
2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at participating small businesses and restaurants
√ Lewiston Recreation Department programming runs 1-3 p.m.
√ DiMino Lewiston Tops Halloween giveaway from 1-5 p.m.
√ Special Halloween performances in Hennepin Park by Adell's School of Dance (3 p.m.) and Lewiston Dance (3:30 p.m.)
On Halloween Saturday, the Village of Lewiston Recreation Department is offering an assortment of seasonally themed family and children’s programming.
From 1-3 p.m., an outdoor, rain-or-shine scavenger hunt will take place starting at Marilyn Toohey Park behind the Red Brick Municipal Building. Candy prizes will be up for grabs.
In addition, the “Salem Sisters” return to mingle with their minions, read stories, and play socially distanced games.
Recreation Department Director Brendan McDermott said, “The Village of Lewiston Recreation scavenger hunt is a family-friendly event. It allows families to dress up in their favorite costumes, working together to find each of the scavenger sites located along Center Street in the scenic Village of Lewiston. Not to mention, candy treats along the way!
“In addition, families are invited to take pictures with the ‘Salem Sisters’ at the Red Brick Municipal Building. New this year is the ‘haunted recreation hallway,’ which will delight the whole family.”
For more information, or to register, visit https://villageoflewiston.net/halloween-scavenger-hunt.
From 1-5 p.m., children can trick-or-treat at DiMino Lewiston Tops. Store Manager John DiMino said youngsters will receive a free treat bag of candy, a mini-pumpkin, and a Starbucks cake pop.
Though the supermarket has had a run on regularly sized pumpkins, DiMino invited shoppers to “Come in for your holiday needs. Candy, cider, doughnuts.”
From 2-5 p.m., festivities continue into the village.
“Trick-or-Treat on Center Street” co-organizer Kathy Pignatora, owner and artist at Inspirations on Canvas, said, “We encourage costumes. Pretty much, it's our way to give safe trick-or-treating for kids.”
Children can fill their baskets, pouches and bags with candy, courtesy of:
√ Antique to Chic
√ Battle Flag Tavern
√ Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop
√ Chéri Amour
√ Deal Reality (with Lions Club)
√ Esthetics By Cati
√ Hearth & Haven Therapeutics
√ Howard Hanna
√ HUNT Real Estate ERA
√ Inspirations on Canvas
√ Just Desserts
√ Lewiston Love
√ Queen B’s Cottage
√ The Plant Shack
√ The Rose Hanger
√ The Village Bake Shoppe
√ You & Me
√ Viva Nostalgia
√ Purely Pediatrics
“In the past, we've given out about 2,000 pieces of candy, each store,” Pignatora said. “So, it is well received – and it's safe, and it's fun, and it's like such a big family.
“There was a point last year, I remember I was sitting outside … and I was just looking up and down the street. It was just teeming with families with smiles on their faces, and just having a great time. I happened to look over, and (Mayor) Anne Welch was there. We just looked at each other. We're like, ‘This is awesome.’ Like, it was just the best, small town, community thing. It just felt so good. It's a fun, safe, family event for everybody.”
This time around, “There’s just so much going on that you really could come and spend the afternoon and just have lots of Halloween fun,” Pignatora said.
Trick-or-treating hours in the Village of Lewiston are 4-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. In the Town of Lewiston, kids can collect candy from 4-7 p.m.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5
One week later, on Nov. 5, the Lewiston Business Group will hold its annual “Holiday Kick Off Lewiston Style” event. Merchants and restaurateurs will offer specials and sales.
Pignatora said competition for holiday sales is fierce – now more so than in the past two years. This event provides shoppers an opportunity to beat the crowds sure to be out in full force over Thanksgiving weekend.
“It’s getting the folks out to enjoy shopping small, and getting those unique, special things for their families and friends in the local community,” she said. “Of course, we think Lewiston is the best, so you should come out often! (Laughs) When ‘Shop Small (Saturday)’ does happen, we definitely get the people back again, which is great. So, it's kind of an extra. But we thought this is kind of that lull before the holidays start. Why not jumpstart and get going on that, and get your shopping happening, and go out and have some fun times?”
“Everybody does something really different and unique in their own shop,” Pignatora said.
She added, “People can come in and take advantage of the discounts that each store will offer early. …
“There's other really cute villages in Western New York. So, this is a great way also, if you're planning on, say, going to Elmwood or something like that on ‘Shop Small’ weekend, this gives you a chance to also enjoy Lewiston at a different time.”
“It offers people some flexibility,” she said, so, “Get festive; get some good deals and some beautiful, really one-of-a-kind gifts. When you're shopping small, you're shopping really unique things that you wouldn’t find on the internet.”
During the pandemic, Lewiston business owners were quick to compliment residents for sustaining local merchants. Though coronavirus case numbers have dropped, and nearly all restrictions are removed, Pignatora said “Shop Small” support continues.
“I think they have been amazing through all of it,” she said. “I've been only grateful for the amount of people over the last two-and-a-half years that have continued to come out, because Lewiston has been a safe place to come.
“We continue to see tourists now. We're seeing them back from all over the world again. I've had folks in here from South Korea. And then I have folks from Williamsville and Clarence. So, it's just been pretty incredible, actually, the amount of people that have been coming out.
“Locals, I think because of how many of them came out during COVID, now they know we're all here; and they continue to come out and shop local, ‘Shop Small.’ They kind of found us, and then kept coming; so, we're grateful for that.”
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