Hallowe’en events see mixed turnouts

Despite the chill in the air, it didn’t stop trick-or-treaters on their hunt for goodies yesterday evening as more than 1,200 kids went door-to-door for the “Scott Street Scare.”
“Almost all the stores ran out of candy,” said Sandra McNay, owner of Masquerade and organizer of the fifth-annual event. “We definitely needed more.”
While an estimated 50,000-60,000 pieces of candy were dropped into goodie bags and plastic pumpkins, McNay noted the candy shortage wouldn’t have happened had businesses stuck to the suggested limit of one piece per trick-or-treater.
She added the addition of 14 more businesses to this year’s participants also spread the candy supply a little thin.
“And not necessarily all business that stay open the extra hour donate cash or candy,” McNay said.
But all in all, she was pleased with the event, which saw 49 businesses and groups offering up treats in a corridor of Hallowe’en delights from Pharmasave to Safeway.
McNay said there was “no question” she’d keep the tradition alive next year, and even may push harder to get residents to donate to the event instead of waiting at home to give out candy to trick-or-treaters that may never come.
Meanwhile, Fort Frances OPP reported a quiet Hallowe’en and “gate night.”
“It went well,” said Cst. Al MacDonald, one of a handful of officers who patrolled Scott Street on foot last night.
“It was really a community effort on behalf of the parents, children, businesses, fire department, ambulance, [and] police.
“The Borderland Thunder were really great. They deserve a lot of credit for helping out there,” he added, referring to the local SIJHL team which volunteered to hand out candy and man the crosswalks yesterday.
“They’re great guys,” echoed McNay, adding several Fort High students also volunteered their time.
In the west end of town, Kitowski Trucking had about 500 trick-or-treaters stop by a “haunted trailer” at McDonald’s Restaurant.
“It’s not as many as we had last year, but it’s still a great turnout,” noted organizer Kim Miller, who had 63 businesses on board to contribute candy or money to the event which first began in 1999.
“I think the weather affected how many kids came out. And unless I could have put in an order for that, I don’t think I could have done anything differently,” she added.
Volunteers handed out candy at the spooky trailer from 5-8:15 p.m., seeing most of the little ghosts and goblins come early for their treats.
Miller noted some non-perishable food items were collected for the local Salvation Army food bank, and the leftover candy also will be given to them for their Christmas hampers.
While it’s likely she’ll keep on organizing Hallowe’en events involving businesses in the west and north ends of town, Miller said she may try something different than the ”haunted trailer” next year.