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Halloween celebration brings kids to McDonough

Jennifer Price (left), tourism concierge for the City of McDonough, marvels at the Halloween costumes worn by children at Friday’s “Trick or Treat on the Square.” Price said the annual event is a good way for families to spend time together, and to learn about the city.

Jennifer Price (left), tourism concierge for the City of McDonough, marvels at the Halloween costumes worn by children at Friday’s “Trick or Treat on the Square.” Price said the annual event is a good way for families to spend time together, and to learn about the city.

Pint-sized ghouls, goblins, pirates and princesses lit up the City of McDonough, to begin their Halloween celebrations a little early.

A “Trick or Treat on the Square” event was held in the area’s downtown, Friday, in celebration of Halloween, on Monday.

For two hours, crowds of children dressed in Halloween costumes visited local stores and restaurants, to fill their bags –– and stomachs –– with goodies from numerous merchants.

The annual event is a 25-year tradition. Jennifer Price, the city’s tourism concierge, said Trick or Treat on the Square has helped to kick off the holiday season in McDonough for the last five years, typically bringing more than 1,000 children each year.

“It’s huge,” she said. “Everybody, and their mothers, and their grandmothers, come, and they walk the entire Square, because the entire Square’s involved ... there’s something for everyone.”

Kevin and Kasey Duvall came all the way from Monticello, Ga., to bring their 2-year-old son, Trey.

“It’s a great family outing,” said Kasey Duvall.

“There’s something for all of us to come and do,” added Kevin Duvall.

Tourism advocate Price, said kids get to stock up on sweets, but businesses gain more exposure by interacting with the public.

“When [parents] bring their children, they’re able to see the unique shops that we have, and fantastic restaurants,” said Price. “Afterwards, they’re going out to dinner, or they’re going to get a drink, if they’re able to. The entire community benefits from it.”

One of the businesses on The Square is Bliss, a cupcake eatery. Shelley DeLisle, owner of Bliss, was decked out in a witch-like costume Friday night.

“How many chances does a 50-year-old woman get to dress up and pass out candy to kids?” said DeLisle. “This is the one time a year that allows me to be a kid, too.”

Price said Trick or Treat on the Square creates a safe environment. “In today’s time, you can’t go door-to-door like you used to. It’s a great time for everyone to come out and enjoy.”

More Halloween festivities in Henry County are scheduled for Saturday at Tanger Outlet Center, 1000 Tanger Drive, in Locust Grove. Kids are encouraged to visit stores from 3 p.m., to 5 p.m. They must be 12 years old, or under, and accompanied by an adult.