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Large turnout for Halloween events
new slt halloween vote here
Kids approach the first candy stop in the courthouse square at the start of Saturday's Halloween parade. For adults, the courthouse was open for voting. - photo by Susan Thacker

Little lawmen and firefighters walked the streets with cowboys, ninjas and princesses, Saturday in downtown Great Bend. Mild fall weather boosted attendance at the annual Halloween parade, where hundreds of kids picked up candy.

Dan Soeken from the Great Bend Kiwanis said he gave out 500 pieces of candy — over 100 more than last year. Karen Neuforth at the Barton County Arts Council reported going through more than 1,000 pieces of candy, but said kids weren’t limited to one piece.

The Kiwanis club and its sister AKtion Clubs from Rosewood Services and Sunflower Diversified Services helped with crowd control and candy as kids walked along both sides of Main Street, receiving treats from the businesses. Great Bend Police Department handled the vehicular traffic.

At the conclusion of the parade, the Kiwanis judged costumes, awarding trophies in three categories. The trophy for kids 5 and younger went to 5-year-old Skyler McMullen. His costume, a robot with shiny aluminum body and a candy "fullness" meter, quickly caught the eye of the judges, although they also considered 2-year-old Preston Florian, dressed as a chick breaking out of his stroller/eggshell.

Two young firefighters/EMTs with their own truck won the trophy for kids 6 and up. Timmy Taylor, 6, and Jewl Witherspoon, 11, were joined by a patient — 14-year-old Elizabeth Milford, who wore a cheerleader outfit but also had her arm in a sling for her costume.

A third trophy was offered to older kids or families, and it went to an entire family dressed as devils. Lindsey and James Creamer were joined by kids Jamison, 3 1/2; Brinley, who is almost 2; Bailey, 10; and Zayne, 7 weeks old.

In the afternoon people were downtown again for a charity chili contest, and kids got to wear those costumes again in the evening, for more trick-or-treating at the annual Zoo Boo.