The streets of downtown Clinton will once again be filled with an array of costumes, treats, games, pumpkins and more in the annual Halloween on the Square event.
Halloween on the Square will be held Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event began over a decade ago, established by the Clinton Police Department, to bring family-friendly Halloween fun and activities to the community.
Streets around the courthouse will be closed for this community event.
According to Mary Rose, Clinton-Sampson Planning Director, who serves as Clinton Main Street manager, said last year’s festivities brought close to 1,000 people downtown. The event’s committees are hoping this year will be even bigger.
“The Clinton Main Street Program, in partnership with Sampson County 4-H, the Sampson Arts Council, and the Clinton Recreation Department are very excited about bringing Halloween on the Square back to Sampson County’s court square,” said Rose. “We have been very pleased with the attendance we have had in the past and we hope this year is even bigger.”
The annual event was moved from the downtown square to Royal Lane Park several years ago, but has since been moved back downtown in an effort to get local businesses involved and more members of the community to attend. During this year’s event, Rose said some of the downtown businesses will remain open and are very excited about the opportunity to offer more to their customers.
Members of the Clinton Police Department, Clinton Fire Department, area churches, non-profit organizations and local businesses will be distributing candy during the Trunk or Treat. Kids are asked to bring a bag for their candy.
The Trunk or Treat, sponsored by Sampson County 4-H, will extend from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Main Street, during which time Robert Stroud of Boogie Shoes Network will play music. From 5:30-6:30 p.m., registration and judging for the Clinton Recreation and Parks Department-sponsored Costume Contest for people and pets will take place.
Winners in the costume contest will be announced at 7:15 p.m. on the Main Street Stage on the Courthouse Square.
“The costume contest has been very popular in the past,” Rose said. “We hope the participation will be the same this year.”
Between now and Halloween, entries for the Pumpkin Carving Contest, which is sponsored by the Clinton Main Street Program and the Sampson Arts Council, will have to be dropped off at the Small House, 709 College St. Pumpkins must be carved and finished at home and dropped off, with a completed registration form, at the Small House, Friday, Oct. 30, between noon and 4 p.m.
According to Rose, entries will be judged on overall appearance, originality and creativity. Winners receive cash prizes, including Best of Show, $50; Scariest, $25; Funniest, $25; and Most Creative, $25. Winners will be contacted via telephone or email, and do not need to be present to win. Entrants are asked to include a battery operated light with their pumpkins. No flame candles are allowed.
For more information on the Pumpkin Carving Contest and to get a registration form, visit www.sampsonarts.net or call 910-596-2533. For more about Halloween on the Square, call the Clinton-Sampson Planning Department at 910-299-4904.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.