OLYMPIA - Dozens of trick-or-treaters and their parents filled the sidewalks of downtown Olympia on Halloween afternoon, getting candy from local merchants and looking for hidden treasure.
It was the Downtown Halloween “Treats ’N’ Treasure” Spooktacular, sponsored by einmaleins, Wind Up Here and Mixx 96 KXXO.
Forty-three businesses participated, said Brekke Hewitt, the owner of Wind Up Here. Besides hauling away sugary loot, children looked for hidden pirate hats in each store for a chance to win a treasure chest full of prizes.
“The whole purpose is to make downtown into a destination neighborhood for families to trick-or-treat before the evening,” said Dave Rauh of Mixx 96.
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Rain held off for most of the event, which proved popular enough that some locations were running out of candy. Mariah Summers, a newcomer to Olympia, said she found out about the event by using Google, and “this is the first thing that came up.”
Hordes of costumed children – and adults – roamed the shops.
Antoinette Perez brought her children in costume. Alexis, 6, came as a “Pegasus unicorn,” and Brendan, 8, was an angler fish.
“Their favorite part is looking for the pirate hats in there,” she said.
Austin Ferris, 8, came dressed as Elvis. He said it was his idea, and he especially likes the songs “Jailhouse Rock” and “Hound Dog.” He had bagged five of the pirate hats.
It was a safe event at which children could get candy. Mary Ellis-Meraz lamented the fact that children can’t just roam the neighborhood for treats safely anymore.
“It’s just sad ... the kids have to trick or treat at stores to be safe.”
With her were Andres Ellis-Meraz, dressed as a monster, and youngsters Andrea, 11, as an alien, and Thalia, 13, as “Jeannie” from the television show “I Dream of Jeannie.”
Mattias Eichler, the owner of einmaleins, said he came up with the idea a couple of years ago. Now, the event is downtown-wide, and he said it will continue.
“It’s so simple, and it makes so much sense,” he said.
Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869