Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Howling Halloween in Downtown Cary

The Town of Cary, NC, where we live, has a major push on to re-invigorate the old downtown area, which is walking distance from our house.  One of the components in this campaign were some brand-new activities for children to celebrate Halloween.  They took place this evening, so my son and I walked down to check them out.

The fun started at the Herb Young Community Center, where they had pumpkin painting crafts in one room, and the entire gym area covered with games and bouncy houses for younger children.

They were also running a hayride from the Community Center up Academy Street to the new Cary Arts Center, about which I have written before.

The horses were beautiful, but this picture doesn't do them justice.

Note to the Town of Cary:  I think the hayride is a much better idea than the horse-drawn carriages you have been running at Christmas.  The Christmas idea is great, but the carriages are so small that they only hold a few families at a time, and the waiting time just gets to be too long.  The hayride can hold a lot more people, so the lines aren't too bad.

One brand-new feature this year was that some of the merchants in the downtown area stayed open for Trick and Treating--plus, many handed out special discount coupons as an incentive for the adults to buy something in the shops.
Note to the merchants:  A lot of children these days have nuts and peanut allergies.  So it is not a good idea to have a candy selection in which everything has nuts, which was the case in a couple of the places we went.

This was the day after Final Friday, so half of the studios didn't participate, which was a shame, because the owners all know my son and we wanted to show them his costume.  But the most happening place in the whole downtown shopping area was Chambers Art, a multi-faceted artistic facility that not only gave away candy, but had a wonderful Halloween village display and was even running a craft activity for children to do:

Chambers Arts really got into the spirit of the holiday, and Klara's Czechoslovakian restaurant had an appropriate outfit on its candy dispenser:

After stopping off at Ashworth's Village (where the downtown merchants are), the hayride continued up to the Cary Arts Center, which had all sorts of things going on.

There were classes where families carved clay pumpkins, blue grass music, scary (or not) Halloween stories, and even a Haunted House!

All in all, it was a fun evening of Halloween activities in Old Cary.  To be honest, most of them were geared to the younger-than-middle-school crowd.   The stuff at the Art Center was more for all ages, though, and it was nice, crisp evening to be walking around and enjoying the sights and the great holiday energy.

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