By Johnny Jackson
Slowly, but surely parents found their way into downtown McDonough on Friday to take part in the annual "Trick-or-Treat on The Square" event.
Many turned out despite the cooler, wet weather, saying they were drawn to the event, because it is safe and fun for their children.
Downtown merchants take part in the event each year, offering candy treats to young passers-by during the afternoon.
Stacey Leonard, of Covington, brought her two daughters, Amber, 13, and Olivia, 3. They were dressed in lace, victorian-style costumes to depict the classic vampire attire. "We like coming to The Square," Leonard said. "I feel safe bringing them out here."
Georgette Underwood, of McDonough, brought along her 19-month-old daughter, Audrey. The two were joined by Audrey's grandmother, Virginia Underwood, and Audrey's aunt, Kim Lyons.
Virginia Underwood attempted to herd her granddaughter, who was busily bouncing about her, like a tether ball, between stops at downtown store fronts. It was the lady bug-clad tot's first trick-or-treating activity.
"I think it's very nice," said Virginia Underwood. "It shows that they [businesses] care. The kids really like it, and it's safe."
Bud Gammalo, the owner of Emily's Attic in downtown McDonough, said the activity typically gets a large turnout, despite the weather.
"Last year, because the weather was so nice, we had a couple hundred kids out trick-or-treating," Gammalo said. "This year, we may have about 100."
He said he has participated in Trick or Treat on The Square for the past six years, and has found some interesting costumes, from firefighters to Darth Vader.
"It's fun for the kids," Gammalo said.
Four-year-old MaKenna Freeman appeared to have fun in her doctor's costume. Her mother, Heather Freeman, of Locust Grove, said she has taken MaKenna trick-or-treating downtown for the past three years, because it is a safe place for her children to have a fun outing during Halloween.
MaKenna said she enjoys trick-or-treating each year, and "getting all the candies" from McDonough's downtown merchants.
McDonough resident, Gloria Britt, took her nine-year-old nephew, Noah Britt, trick-or-treating. Gloria Britt said she enjoyed the activity, despite the cool, wet weather. "It only comes once a year," she said.