MARYSVILLE — The day's rain did little to dampen the community's enthusiasm for trick-or-treating on Third Street this Halloween, while the Marysville Care Center's annual Halloween celebration saw an uptick in attendance this year.
Mary Kirkland, owner of Hilton Pharmacy at the corner of Third Street and State Avenue, estimated that as many as 250 kids toured through the "old town" Marysville merchants' shops and surrounding blocks from 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, with increased foot traffic after 4:30 p.m. making up for the relatively sparse crowds prior to the drizzle clearing off slightly.
"We've gotten anywhere between 100-500 kids on Halloween, but a lot of that depends on which day of the week Halloween is that year," Kirkland said. "On the weekends, especially Saturdays, we've seen more, but this was a moderately busy Halloween for us."
Kirkland speculated that future trick-or-treating sessions on Third Street might be scheduled for the Saturdays prior to Halloween, so that other Halloween-themed activities could be scheduled concurrently with them to make for full days of festive events for all ages, similar to Third Street's pre-Easter Saturday festivities.
"We're just in the talking stage, though," said Kirkland, who continues to appreciate the turnout that Third Street's Halloween has received for the past 16 years, which this year included a variety of Spider-Men and other superheroes, as well as fairy, butterfly and even monster princesses. "We even had two sets of Things 1 and 2 from Dr. Seuss."
Cat-in-the-Hat Kat Michael was mom to two of those Things, with 4-year-old son John as Thing 1 and his 3-year-old brother Randy as Thing 2.
"It's been wet but fun," Kat Michael said as she pushed the twin stroller for her two boys.
While the Michaels are faithful veterans of Halloween on Third Street, Dana and Lorene Wren were first-timers this year, since their Wrenhaven Vintage Market doesn't officially open on Third Street until 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, but the costumed couple didn't hesitate to get into the spirit of the event.
"It's so exciting," Lorene Wren said. "It's nice to see the locals, and the kids are all so darling and so stinking cute," she laughed. "I love that this city still feels like a small town."
Trusty Threads owner Patricia Schoonmaker and her 1-year-old son Kennedy celebrated their first year taking part in trick-or-treating on Third Street, albeit by passing out candy rather than collecting it, although Patricia admitted that Kennedy had other ideas.
"I think he'd rather eat it all himself," she said, as she gently prized a few treats from his tiny, tightly gripping fingers.
Trick-or-treaters of all ages used their time on Third Street to showcase their costuming creativity, with 10-year-old Bradley Taylor donning the distinctive hat, leather jacket and whip of Indiana Jones, thanks to extensive thrift store shopping with his mom, while 10-year-old Morgan Reed continued his Johnny Depp and Tim Burton themes of Halloween costumes — he's dressed as Beetlejuice and Capt. Jack Sparrow in previous years — by wearing the fangs, pale makeup and gothic wardrobe of Barnabas Collins in "Dark Shadows."
Of the more ubiquitous characters, Spider-Men and princesses were also among the more popular costume choices at the Marysville Care Center, which has been hosting trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities for the public nearly as long as the merchants of Third Street, according to staff member Lori Hein, who reported receiving 575 attendees between 6-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.
"We also had a lot of hippies and witches," Hein said. "I think the bad weather outdoors helped us draw more folks indoors than we've had in previous years, especially with the good advertising we got from The Marysville Globe."
"It's just fun to watch the kids pass by," said Patricia Erickson, a resident of the Marysville Care Center for the past two months, as she handed out candy from her wheelchair. "All their costumes look pretty good, and they're all very polite, saying please and thank you."
While visiting mom Jovita Corona expressed enthusiasm over the "haunted house" — which included Marysville Care Center staff members dressed as mad scientists, werewolves and the like — her daughter Ava focused more on the simpler pleasures, such as the evening's cakewalk and the hefty hauls of candy that she and her friends showed off to each other.
"Every year, people call us up to make sure we're still celebrating Halloween," Hein laughed.