Posted: November 7, 2013 Downtown Eau Claire businesses treat tricksters on Halloween
By Jocelyn Syrstad
Taken from the Leader-Telegram
Lions, tigers, ghosts and goblins filled Barstow Street in downtown Eau Claire Thursday afternoon as trick-or-treaters went from storefront to storefront collecting candy.
Barstow Street business owners stood in their buildings' doorways from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday with large buckets of candy for anyone who wanted to get a head start on this year's trick-or-treating.
"I've been doing this for years, probably since it started," said Cindy Wing-Reed, owner of B-Framed Galleries. "It's so awesome. Early in the day you see a lot of the really little kids who are just so cute. It gets busy a little after 4, once the other kids get out of school."
Wing-Reed, who was dressed up as Rapunzel, estimated that she sees about 2,000 to 3,000 trick-or-treaters at her store each year. Most of the business owners had a vast supply of candy and got into the spirit of the event by dressing up themselves.
And as much fun as it is for the business owners to see all the children dressed up for the holiday, the event really is all about the kids themselves
The Julia and Sam Johnson family participated in its first downtown trick-or-treating event. Julia and Sam took their 2-year-old daughter, Odessa - who proudly spelled her name for anyone who would listen - to Barstow Street for her first time trick-or-treating. The family was dressed up as characters from the movie "Madagascar," with Julia as a giraffe, Sam as a lion and Odessa as a zebra. dressed up for the holiday, the event really is all about the kids themselves.
"We're a hippopotamus short of being the whole cast," said Julia, who is expecting her second child in February. "This is the first time Odessa's been trick-or-treating, and she's having a blast. Last year she dressed up and helped me hand out candy at home."
It took Odessa a little bit to get the hang of trick-or-treating, as she mainly kept her parents busy by galloping or running down the streets not at all concerned about the large bins of candy being offered to her.
"Hopefully she'll get the hang of it before we're done," Julia said.
Other families turn the Barstow Street trick-or-treating into a tradition. Lindsay Kult was taking her daughter, Lolabelle, for the second time and her son, Freeman, - who is only a year and a half - for his first. Freeman was dressed up as the Hungry Caterpillar from the popular children's book, and Lolabelle, who is 3½ and quick to show off her plethora of goodies, was dressed up as a strawberry the caterpillar had eaten his way through.
"It's always fun to come down here," Lindsay said. "It's nice to do this during the day because I like to be back home in time to hand out candy. But the kids always have fun here."