Kids can visit merchants for special treats; street closing will enable more family fun, more safety
By Joshua Maloni
Halloween will again start early in Lewiston with “Trick or Treat on Center Street.” This year, the event is on a new day – and has a new space – providing children and families more opportunity to show off their costumes and collect sweet treats.
With Saturday traditionally a busier shopping day, “The ‘Trick or Treat on Center Street’ is going to be on a Sunday this year, which we thought back a few months ago that would be beneficial,” said Sara Liberale of Alpha Align Agency and The Rose Hanger Shop.
This year’s mini-festival is set for noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 29, and “We’re shutting the street down for the first time ever, which is very exciting,” Liberale said. “I think that’s going to be a nice touch, because kids are going to be able to run around a little more without having to worry about cars driving around.”
Center Street will be closed from Sixth Street to Fourth Street as this event has “grown exponentially” since debuting prepandemic, organizer and Inspirations on Canvas owner/artist Kathy Pignatora said. “When we started, we thought we'd get like 250 kids, for real, just advertising through the paper and on the Facebook. The event pages have been always great for us, and our little business group, events that we do. And now it's grown to – hard to say a number of how many attended last year – but well over 2,000, for sure. We can only tell by the candy count piece, and there's somewhere over 2,000, we think.”
At “Trick or Treat on Center Street,” children go door to door – or, more accurately, business to business – gathering candy and participating in games. This time around, activities and merchant tables will extend onto the roadway.
“I think being outside and watching the event last year, we saw how busy it had gotten; and our concern was for safety,” Pignatora said. “One of the first things we talked about after the event was how can we make this even better. And, of course, safety is No. 1. So, working with the business groups, and alongside a complete team with the chamber and the village, we decided to close the streets. … We have a safety plan. We've got the fire department; the police department are going to be present.”
Moreover, “As we've done in the past years, we've invited back the three dance schools, which are Janet Dunstan, Lewiston Dance and Adell’s. Throughout the day, they're going to be performing right on the street, which is exciting. They've each got a timeslot.
“And then, of course, we've got candy being handed out all up and down the streets.”
She added, “Our stores are all open. You're welcome to step in. We'd love you to see what we all have. But, we're going to try to make just the whole flow of it a little better and, of course, safer.
“A lot of us dress up, too; we're hoping to have a few characters also milling about.
“At the same time, I would have to mention start your day off going down to Tops. They're going to be having a costume contest down there, as well as they're handing out free bags for candy to bring down here.”
Also supporting the event, “Modern has donated Porta Potties, which is important that we have those facilities for the families,” Pignatora said. “They also are generously going to be sweeping up after of all the candy and the wrappers, so we can keep Lewiston clean.”
She added, “There's just so many good things going on in Lewiston that day. We're really excited about it.”
More information can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/LewistonBusinessGroup. Look for the “Trick or Treat on Center Street” event page.
•The Village of Lewiston Recreation Department will present its annual “Haunted House Spooktacular” in conjunction with “Trick or Treat on Center Street.” See related story for more details.
Children (and their parents and guardians, too) are invited to start their “Trick or Treat on Center Street” adventure with a trip to DiMino Lewiston Tops at 906 Center St. The store is providing free, large candy bags; giving out candy in select spots in the store; and hosting a costume contest.
Inspirations on Canvas owner/artist Kathy Pignatora said, “If you're a business that is interested in setting up a table or handing out candy on Center, you can contact me” at her store, 449 Center St.; or by calling 716-316-4955. “Let me know if you'd like to set up a little space to hand out candy. It's at no cost. You’d be supplying the candy.”
Pignatora said “Trick or Treat on Center Street” is an opportunity to “provide a safe space for these kids to trick or treat – but also, we as businesses, see it as a giveback to the community. They support us year-round. And that is really where it all kind of stemmed from, with a great, family-friendly event; showcase all the great things that are in Lewiston, and what a great small community it is.”
Of course, once Halloween is over, focus shifts to the holiday season – and here again, merchants will look to show what makes Lewiston unique.
“The next weekend, we have the annual holiday kickoff,” Pignatora said.
“Holiday Shopping Kickoff – Lewiston Style” is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.
“What that day is all about is it's a kickoff to the holiday season, to really get the shoppers out there seeing what we have as small businesses, and shopping small,” Pignatora said. “There's a lot of events over the holidays. And so, we've had this now for a few years. It's been really successful – very similar to a ‘shop small’ event with sales, goodies.”
She emphasized, “If you enjoy getting some deals; if you want to start shopping early; that's a great opportunity to do that – and supporting Lewiston and all of our great businesses here on Center.”
More details can be found on the Lewiston Business Group Facebook page under “Holiday Shopping Kickoff – Lewiston Style.”
"The Salem Sisters"
The Village of Lewiston Recreation Department will host its annual “Haunted House Spooktacular” from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Red Brick Municipal Building, 145 N. Fourth St. This event is held in conjunction with the Lewiston Business Group’s “Trick-or-Treat on Center Street” (see related story), and includes:
•A haunted house inside the Red Brick.
•The rain-or-shine “Skeleton Walk” scavenger hunt in Marilyn Toohey Park, behind the Red Brick, where participants will be spooked and given candy treats.
Also on the schedule:
•“Howl”oween dog parade from 12:30-1 p.m.
•“The Salem Sisters” interacting with the crowd and taking pictures from 2-3 p.m.
All events are free of charge. Register online at https://villageoflewiston.net/hauntedhouse-spooktacular.
Recreation Director Brendan McDermott said, “This is a family-friendly event for families to dress up in their favorite costumes. The event begins with the first annual ‘Howl’oween dog parade from 12:30-1 p.m. Prizes will go to dogs with the best costumes.
“The haunted house will take place in the ‘Loooo...iston Red Brick Recreation Center.’
“New this year, the spooky-scary skeleton walk for families around the Toohey Park grounds.”
He added, “Families are invited to take pictures with the Salem Sisters from 2-3 p.m. There is something which will enchant the whole family.”
On Monday, the Village of Lewiston Board voted to close Onondaga Street, from North Second Street to North Third Street, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29, to accommodate the “Halloween Spooktacular.”