New Tecumseth’s downtown areas were filled with spooky decorations this October and many were able to hand out candy or do something fun for Halloween.
While the Frightfully Fun Family Event that businesses take part in throughout Tottenham and Beeton, which generally brings out hundreds of people, was cancelled, the Beeton Tottenham Business Improvement Association (BTBIA) focused their efforts on scarifying the downtown corridors.
“We just decided to vamp up the decorations a little bit more this year,” said BTBIA Coordinator Susan Lacoucci. “It just creates such a sense of community, it creates pride, the businesses love it, the employees love it, the visitors to our community love it.”
“I’ve only ever heard positive things and I think seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and people gathering around, taking pictures of the displays, even in the rain… that just makes a feel-good moment for the businesses and our community."
A few restaurants held special events for Halloween, such as Cedar Kitchen in Tottenham, which encouraged diners to wear costumes, or Taste of Freedom, who created a spooky menu that was available for takeout.
As well, Sunset Grill in Alliston did a costume contest and Pawfect Pets in Beeton handed out dog and cat treat bags on Halloween for their furry trick-or-treaters.
Dinoland in Tottenham found creative ways of staying within the COVID-19 guidelines to host a Halloween party for kids, having them come in small groups to do crafts, trick or treat, and play with their family.
The Alliston Business Improvement Association (ABIA) had its final Saturday farmers’ market on Halloween, featuring treats, pumpkins, and prizes at the ABIA booth.
The ABIA also held its RURBAN Monster Hunter contest where people could win prizes by spotting RURBAN monster stickers on storefronts and posting a photo of them to their social media, leading up to October 31.
Lacoucci said Halloween is generally a great time for Beeton and Tottenham businesses because the Frightfully Fun Family Event would help to reintroduce the community to all of the stores available on their downtown cores.
“It gets people out in the street and gets them reacquainted with what they have in the downtown core; often we hear, I didn't realize there was a health food store in Town,” she noted.
“They either drive out a different way or don't necessarily shop the downtown because they're commuters and when they go into the city they do some of their shopping there."
Going forward, Lacoucci said she hopes the community can overcome COVID-19 over the weeks leading up to holiday season so proper celebrations can take place and businesses can receive a boost.
“We’re crossing our fingers that we can have a Christmas and the Christmas shopping will help with some of the businesses,” she told the Times.
Sam Odrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times