The City of Hastings Parks and Rec Department in conjunction with Hastings High School puts on their Halloween event on the Friday before Halloween and the Downtown Business Association hosts their …
The City of Hastings Parks and Rec Department in conjunction with Hastings High School puts on their Halloween event on the Friday before Halloween and the Downtown Business Association hosts their Candy Crawl on the Saturday before Halloween. Both events have had great successes for several years now and this year was no exception.
Friday’s event at the High School had over 2,100 people visit in the few hours they are open. This event is a fundraiser for both Hastings Family Service and the Youth Impact Council, so visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate at the door, cash donations are also accepted.
The event is also sponsored by a large number of Hastings Area Businesses who donated over $2,300 to make the event happen. Lee Hotel Group – Hastings Inn, Graphic Design Inc., Hoffman & McNamara, Rivertown Eye Care, Tennis Sanitation, MN Coaches, Dakota Electric, Abra Hovgaard Edward Jones, Fluegel Law Firm, Hastings Rivertown Lions Club, Majeski Plumbing and Heating, Intek Plastics, Hastings Fire Department Relief Association, Riverbend Animal Hospital, Treasure Island, Coborns, Jersey Mikes, Cub Foods.
Many of those businesses and more had individual activity stations set up for the guests to visit. Intek, Dakota Electric, Hoffman & McNamara Nursery and Landscape, Hastings Lions Club, Hastings Fire Relief Association, Majeski Plumbing and Heating, Hastings Golf Club, Hastings Police Department, Carpenter Nature Center, Hastings YMCA, Hastings Hockey, HCTV, Just for Kix, Jeannie Tribe Photography, Dakota County Library, Benedictine Living Community, Sliver King Games, SC Toys, River Blades Skating School and Hastings Community Education.
This year, the event was done a little differently with the games moved to the gym instead of the halls with the lockers. The main portion of the event took place in the commons area of the high school because of the wind and cold temperatures outside. There were plenty of vendors giving out treats with little games the kids could play, a DJ doing kid friendly dances and a costume contest. Jeannie Tribe Photography was on hand to take free photos and the gym was packed with games kids could play for treats. Carpenter Nature Center had a display with snakes, furs and an owl.
According to Paige Marschall at the parks department, the event was a huge success. The previous largest attendance was over 1,500 counted last year. This year was made possible with over 57 volunteers that saw over 2,100 excited attendees. There were 14 activity stations coordinated by local businesses and organizations while 20 activity stations were coordinated by Youth Impact Council, Hastings High School Hockey and Volleyball teams. All in all, 778 pounds of food was collected and donated to Hastings Family Service and $440.36 was collected for the Youth Impact Council Scholarship Fund.
Saturday afternoon at the downtown candy crawl, there were plenty of people visiting all of the various sports on Second Street for goodies, games and picture opportunities. It is difficult to say how many visitors came to the crawl for a few reasons, there is no controlled entrance, people come and go from all the stores downtown and it is spread over a much larger area. There were a lot of people, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. The temps were a little cooler than many would have liked, but that did not stop people from coming out.
Businesses downtown decorated their stores, some set up displays in front of their location and the side streets had businesses from other areas around town. Lock and Dam Eatery had the ever-popular cotton candy machine running, St. Philips Church was giving away candy and cider and many businesses decorated the backs of their cars for a trunk or treat feel.
The Downtown Business Association holds a contest for the store decoration. This year’s winners were: first place Impressive Windows, second place Quaint & Quirky and third place RiverCity PopCorn and Candy Co.