The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 28, 2012

Halloween gets an early start throughout Ashtabula County

Children were the focus of many area activities Saturday as Halloween week got an early start in Ashtabula, Geneva, Jefferson and other area communities.

Businesses in downtown Ashtabula kicked off the Halloween season with a trick-or-treat experience and Bridge Street merchants also reached out to children with a variety of fun activities.

“We actually had quite a few dozen kids for as bad as the weather was (that is pretty good),” said Jaimee Searl, owner of Liftbridge Landing, who helped organize the Halloween and Harvest Festival on Bridge Street Saturday.

Cookie decorating, face painting and a variety of fun activities were available for kids thanks to the efforts of Bridge Street merchants.

An apple pie eating contest was also a featured event. “We cut them (apple pies) in half. It was fun to watch,” Searl said.

In Jefferson side streets became difficult to traverse as dozens of ghosts and goblins, and their parents, participated in the annual trick-or-treat experience.

The Willhoite family of West Erie Street decided to give candy from the back of their vehicle to try to stay dry. “Trying to stay dry because last year it was in a lawn chair (in warm weather),” said Ann Willhoite of the difference between last year’s trick-or-treat weather and this year’s chilly temperatures mixed with rain.

She didn’t seem to mind the cold temperatures. “I love the little kids,” Willhoite said.

Landen Sack, 15 months, experienced his first trick-or-treat night dressed as a red dragon. He was, however, struggling with the wrapper of a small Kit Kat bar.

“Good if he can get his candy bar open,” his father Jared Sach said of the need for a sugar burst.

The Ashtabula YMCA sponsored a harvest festival as well drawing dozens of children for a haunted walk, Miss Spider’s Teapot and a variety of other fun experiences.

Michelle Massucci, program director of the YMCA, said it is a great way for the children to try their Halloween costumes before trick-or-treat night.

Ten miles to the west hundreds of people were lining up to experience Geneva’s Ghoulfest. A costume contest, parade, haunted house, games and snacks were all a part of the annual event.

“It’s something to do for the kids that doesn’t cost a lot. It’s hard times right now,” said Krystal Patrick who was enjoying the event with her 8-month-old daughter Sophie Odegard.

“We come out every year. It’s just safe for the kids,” said Don Ferron while escorting his 3-year-old grandson Jaydon Rossi, growling like a vicious lion, of Harpersfield through the fire hall game and snack area.

The Haunted House shuffles through the Geneva Recreation Center and is very popular. Long lines greeted visitors to the house.

Kara Hutchinson and Kenna Sayborn, both 11 from Geneva, came out victorious in the costume contest and led a portion of the parade.

Sayborn dressed as a headless bride and Hutchinson was a washing machine.

Halloween activities continue today with trick or treat in Geneva this afternoon.

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