Main Street Searcy’s annual Halloween event returns to the streets this year, and the Searcy Advertising and Tourism Promotion Commission is backing it with $ 5,000 in tax revenue.
Main Street Searcy Executive Director Amy Burton told the commission last week that she initially asked for $ 7,500 because “we thought we were going to have to do the Boo At The Drive-Thru”, to which the event was changed last year due to COVID -19, marking the first time in 15 years that the format of Trick or Treat on the Square has been changed.
“However, it seems from the feedback I get from the community that they want our usual downtown thing or treat,” she said. “We checked with Dr. [Roddy] Lochala at Unity Health and it is certain that we can do it safely. It’s an outdoor event although we packed 3,500 to 6,000 people downtown, but we can spread out a bit more if we need to.
Having the traditional Trick or Treat in the plaza, said Burton, Main Street Searcy could probably host the event for nearly $ 5,000. She said that amount will be spent to make up for the loss of not having “full participation this year”.
Based on feedback from those who handed out candy over the years at the event, Burton said it was very easy for individuals, nonprofits, organizations and businesses to spend more than $ 600 in candy. Then, she said, “they have to find the manpower to hand out the candy.”
This year Halloween falls on a Sunday night and she said she understands that the city wants to keep the trick or treat activity that night, so that would also be the night for Trick or Treat in the plaza. Burton said the event was started for the safety of children and she noted that law enforcement, including the White County Sheriff’s Office, Searcy Police and the Fire Department, will be present, as well as the staff of NorthStar EMS.
The hope is, Burton said, that there will be 75 percent of participants from past years helping out again this year. She said it all depends on the workforce since everyone suffers from having enough people to work and it also depends on people’s budgets if they could participate this year with items such as coupons, treats and gifts for children.
If turnout is low, Burton said Main Street Searcy will want to use the funds to supplement the event with candy, so it will be worth hosting for all the kids in the county.
Main Street Searcy volunteers would look after the tables, decorate them and hand out the candy, Burton said.
Burton pointed out that with $ 5,000 the A&P Commission would be the main sponsor of the event and that Main Street Searcy would also list anyone donating candy or items or anyone willing to hand out candy as a sponsor. participant.
Traditionally, Trick or Treat on the Square times are 5 to 7 p.m., but Burton said there are a lot of devotees active, the start time will be 4 p.m. this year.
Commission Chairman Chris Howell asked Burton about food trucks, and she said there would be a nonprofit from an area church that would make hot dogs and would give them to children. She said this organization raises scholarships for teens in the church.