Halloween fun in Marietta

This weekend might be little bit gloomy with a forecast calling for rain and cool temperatures, but it will likely just add to the atmosphere for all the Halloween-related events happening around town.

Organizer Donna Fairchild, with the Marietta Noon Lions, said predicted rain will force the cancellation of the annual Halloween parade but the costume contest will still take place at the Washington County Fairgrounds in the multi-purpose building. Participants will be judged in funniest, scariest and most original and will be awarded gift cards.

“We’ll just have the costume contest and the regular festivities and it will be held in conjunction with Trunk or Treat, which they will already be having down there,” said Fairchild.

Typically, the parade travels down Third Street to Putnam and down to Front, then to Muskingum Park where it connects with Halloween in the Park. The rain contingency plan will see both events moving to the fairgrounds this year, organizers decided Wednesday.

Susan Joyce, Recreation Program & Public Facilities office manager for the City of Marietta, said the public has been notified via the city’s Facebook page and they will have folks at the park to direct participants to the rain location.

“This will be a big day for the kids, with the events around town and trick or treat in the evening,” she said. “It has always given me the chills to see a sea of people coming to the park. The kids always look forward to this event.”

Longtime organizer of Halloween in the Park, Connie Grimes, a member of Pioneer Ladies Civitan, said the group, with help from RSVP, has prepared 700 treat bags.

“This event is sponsored by Marietta Civitan, Pioneers Ladies Civitan, Kiwanis, Noon Lions and Zonta,” Grimes said. “They do the decorations, make the food and help with the games.”

Hot dogs, chips and drinks provided by Broughton are available for participants free of charge. All children ages 1 to 12 who want treat bags need to have a sticker, available from a Noon Lions member at the costume contest.

When the events at the fairgrounds conclude, children and families can head to the armory on Front Street to participate in events that are part of Marietta Main Street’s Downtown Trick-or-Treat.

“The idea that some of the merchants had last year was to keep the fun going and have an event that complements the other events that have already been going on,” said Cristie Thomas, executive director of Marietta Main Street.

Downtown Trick-or-Treat will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. and will have 20 different treat stops. If the rain holds off, Halloween-themed music and games will be held on the armory lawn with help from Marietta College Leadership 101 students and Make a Difference Day.

“I would say people should just incorporate their umbrella into their costume and come on down,” Thomas said.

Other events include Halloween Portrait Spectacular to benefit the Betsey Mills Club from 1 to 4 p.m. and a ghost tour at Mid Ohio Valley Players Theatre at 229 Putnam St. from 1 to 3 p.m.

If you go

¯ What: Noon Lions Halloween costume contest.

¯ When: Saturday; judging begins at 11:30 a.m.

¯ Where: Multipurpose building at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

¯ Categories: Funniest, scariest, most original.

¯ What: Halloween in the Park.

¯ When: Saturday at noon.

¯ Where: Multipurpose building at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

¯ Details: Food, goodie bags and games.

¯ What: Marietta Main Street Downtown Trick-or-Treat.

¯ When: 1 to 3 p.m.

¯ Where: Downtown Marietta.

¯ Details: Candy, games and giveaways at local merchants; activities at the armory.

¯ Participants: A Unique Flower & Gift Shop, All Pro Nutrition, Baker & Baker Jewelers, Change of A’dress, Visit Marietta Ohio, GREEN ACRES of Marietta, Hawaiian Tan Salons, Hidden Marietta, Historic Lafayette Hotel, InSilico Media Group, Jeremiah’s Coffee House, Just A Jar Design Press, Marietta Wine Cellars, Inc., Nacho Average Taco, Peddler of Dreams Art Space for Children, Platinum Salon and Spa, Riverside Artists Gallery, John Rossi Art, Slice of Life, The Cook’s Shop.