Readers have been asking about Halloween and whether it has been canceled. While there is no “Pumpkin King” (other than Jack Skellington in Halloweentown) to oversee the holiday, the Great Bend Tribune did learn that Halloween is still a go, and we've learned the fate of some local events.
The Saturday before Halloween, Oct. 24, will offer “Drive-through Boo” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brit Spaugh Park. This replaces the annual Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Great Bend Kiwanis Club, said project chair Amanda Urban.
There will not be an evening Zoo Boo this year.
The drive-through parade will start at 19th and Morton Street and vehicles will proceed to the Morton Street entrance into the park, snaking to the east around the pool parking lot and then back so cars will exit on Williams Street (at 19th and Williams). Kids are invited to wear their costumes and have their parents drive to stations in the park where volunteers will hand out treats. Motorists will stay in their vehicles.
“During this uncertain time ... Kiwanis feels strongly that the community needs a bit of ‘regular,” Urban said. “We have been planning and talking to city officials to make the safest plan possible for our community without canceling the event. Kiwanis, with the help of city officials, determined the use of Brit Spaugh’s driving path for a car parade would be our best bet. We plan to set up booths along the parade route, handing out candy to cars with kids in them.”
No Zoo Boo
City Administrator Kendal Francis announced the cancelation of Zoo Boo back in June.
“This is a difficult decision, but not a COVID-19 based one,” he said at the time. “Many factors played into this decision.” Factors included the cost of candy and other necessities, the overtime required for preparation and cleanup, and the undue stress on animals created by the large crowds.
Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes noted some other things going on Halloween night, Oct. 31.
Walnut Bowl is planning its first Trunk or Treat from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 31 in the bowling alley’s parking lot.
First Southern Baptist Church will have a drive-through Fall Fest from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 at 19th and Harrison. According to Explore Great Bend, this will include candy, hot dogs, door prizes and games.
First Assembly of God Church will be handing out hot chocolate and hot dogs to “Light the Night” this Halloween.
Pastor Dwight Dozier at the church said volunteers have offered “Light the Night” for three or four years now and they will do so again unless local authorities announce that trick-or-treating should be canceled. “Everything is written in sand,” he quipped.
In years past, the church has set up two stations with grills on Broadway Ave. and one in the Twin Lakes addition, because those areas typically see the largest numbers of children. In past years they’ve served 1,200 to 1,500 people.
They offer a place to sit and warm up if it’s cold outside, and they will pray with anyone who asks, Dozier said.
Dozier said the members at First Assembly of God don’t necessarily see this as a Halloween celebration, but they do enjoy it. “We do this to be a bright light in the community.”
The Tribune will add other events to its community calendar as they are received. Send information about free events to Daniel Kiewel at firstname.lastname@example.org.