SYCAMORE – The ghosts will be out early in Sycamore as downtown businesses once again will provide a trick-or-treat experience Wednesday during the kickoff to Pumpkin Fest.
Discover Sycamore has teamed up with more than 25 local businesses to give area families a chance to explore Sycamore’s establishments, while children get an early start on stockpiling Halloween candy. The event has expanded to include businesses off State Street, such as Shawn’s Coffee House, for the first time.
Lauren Diehl, director of Discover Sycamore, said the downtown trick-or-treating event has grown into a popular staple in the past four years, with more than 1,000 people participating in 2011.
“A lot of the businesses really like this event because it brings people in their doors,” Diehl said. “Some people will shop that night or come back the next day.”
Diehl said the biggest challenge for businesses in the past was purchasing enough candy for the roughly 1,000 people who come to the event, but that burden has been alleviated this year by Nestlé donating candy to the businesses.
Roseann Para, co-owner of Sweet Earth, said the event is a great way to bring the community together and gives residents a chance to see what local shops offer.
Because it is difficult to market against their corporate competitors, Parra said small-business owners need to have personal relationships with their customers and community.
“Whenever there is candy involved, you’re guaranteed success,” she said.
The event runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and is in conjunction with the first day of Pumpkin Fest.
Children can drop off their decorated pumpkins on the courthouse lawn from 4 to 9 p.m. and take part in the giant cake-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m.