HOUSTON – Omarian Hammond, 6, dressed at the Hulk and collected a hulking bucket of candy at the Spooktacular Boo Bash held Thursday night on the Square in Houston.
“I did pretty good,” said Hammond. “I visited every store. It was fun.”
Boo Bash was sponsored by the Chickasaw Development Foundation who partnered with downtown businesses to offer a family-friendly evening. Merchants kept their doors open late and many dressed up as spooks and goblins for the kids.
“I have dressed up and done this at my home for 15 years,” said Gail Turner, manager of Franklin Financial. “We brought it downtown this year and it’s really been a lot of fun.”
Turner and Kay Davis dressed up as witches and handed out sacks of candy to kids.
Halloween day saw steady rain across Chickasaw County, but the rain mysteriously stopped just about the time Boo Bash started.
Most merchants stood under awnings downtown and the kids didn’t seem to mind the weather.
Lisa Eaton and Debbie Peel of BancorpSouth also handed out candy to those dressed for the occasion.
“We are proud to be a part of downtown Houston and love doing these kinds of things,” said Lisa Eaton, of BancorpSouth. “The rain made us wonder if this was going to happen, but we’ve got a good crowd.”
The CDF had initially planned to give away free hotdogs and set up a movie screen, but the weather prompted them to cancel that.
“You can never guess what the weather is going to do, but I want to thank those who braved a wet and cool night to come to Boo Bash,” said Joyce East, Executive Director of the Chickasaw Development Foundation. “We did have our costume contest and people are having a good time.”
The costume contest saw youngsters judged in three age divisions with the winners getting gift certificates to local businesses.
East said CDF had 15 merchants sign up to hand out candy. The city also blocked off two side of the Square to make for a safer Boo Bash.
“I want to thank the city, police, fire department and of course all our CDF volunteers for helping us have a safe Boo Bash,” said East. “We had several businesses that were pleased with the traffic it brought to their store. I definitely think this is something we want to think about doing again next year.”
East said this was the first time in several years that something like Boo Bash have been tried at Halloween.
“It’s all about the kids,” said East, “and it’s all about doing things in downtown Houston for our merchants.”