Saturday’s ‘Spooktacular’ event in Aberdeen was a huge hit

Downtown Aberdeen saw a rush of kids and their parents bombard Downtown Aberdeen Association (DAA) staff and many downtown businesses on Saturday in search of candy, popcorn, pop and fun photos.

DAA’s Bobbi McCracken was all smiles during the two-way queue in front of the group stationed outside the future site of the Aberdeen History Museum. She was happy to see the sidewalks lined with costumed harborites on both sides of Wishkah Street.

“When people say there’s nothing going on in Aberdeen, they should see it,” McCracken said. “It was crazy. We went through three cases of pop, mostly for parents. They can’t get enough of popcorn. It smells so good.”

Bette Worth, also of the DAA, gave a similar review of Saturday’s trick-or-treat event.

“Aberdeen was buzzing with laughter and screams of excitement,” Worth said.

The buttery, salty popcorn, of which the group gave out about 500 bags, was provided from an old popcorn machine donated by McDermoth Elementary School, according to McCracken.

According to Wil Russoul, director of the DAA, stunts started showing up at their station at 11:20 a.m., even though it was supposed to start at noon. The line continued until about 2:00 p.m.

The group — including Worth, McCracken, Russoul, and several other DAA employees — was just one station of fun treats. And then there was Rick Moyer, who photographed 198 people.

“It really worked out today,” Moyer said. “I’m very happy about it.”

One mother, Heidi Talbert, was dressed as a deer. Her two-year-old daughter Fawna was dressed as a blue bear. Talbert spoke highly of Spooktacular.

“It’s excellent,” Talbert said. “We are doing very well, we have a lot of work to do.”

Talbert was a fan of the free photo from Moyer.

“I like that photo,” Talbert said. “It will be good.” We’ll have something to remember.”

Talbert was happy to see more events happening around Aberdeen.

“We went to the Loading Dock last week,” Talbert said. “It was a lot of fun. They hold many more events in Aberdeen. I think it’s good for all of us to have something to do. And I know Y is doing something (on Sunday.)”

Scammers went to many businesses that had a Waldo sign taped to the front door. One of the business owners — Andy Bickar, owner and chef of Rediviva — said he was out for about two and a half hours. He said he gave away more than 1,200 pieces of candy.

“I gave double and triple (servings) to the kids with the best costumes, as well as some parents who have a sweet tooth,” Bickar said. “In total, about $300 worth of candy.

Bryce Romero, owner of The Tap Room, said his bar gave away nearly 1,500 candies from the edge of its outdoor seating area.

“We went through four full bags of candy, almost 1,500 pieces,” Romero said. “I’d say it was as busy as it’s ever been outside. The (bar) was also really busy. I had Kimmy (Nebel) out handing out candy. She was there for two whole hours. There was no slowdown, just a full flow of children. I checked myself outside regularly.”

Lee Bacon, who owns The Side One — a green moss urban building on the south corner of South K and Wishkah streets — said the Spooktacular is another impressive DAA event. Bacon’s building was lined with skeletons inside upstairs windows, plus lanterns and tombstones inside downstairs windows. The building’s speakers also played fun Halloween music.

“My wife and I spoke to hundreds of people and families dressed in full celebration of the day,” Bacon said. “A fun day was had by all.

Bacon is glad that such events are gaining popularity.

“The vibe of making the city center a place where families can meet and connect is getting stronger every year. DAA is an excellent organization and their goal is to enrich our city through these opportunities. The real heartwarming story is that while the DAA sets a ‘thoughtfully planned stage’ for people, families, positive community support is why a day like Spooktacular is so memorable and so appreciated by people who are committed to the future of Aberdeen and Aberdeen.”

“I thought it was a great success,” Worth said. “I think the weather had a lot to do with the number of people who came. …The town center was buzzing with laughter and excitement from the children who were in the centre. Businesses have been very supportive and giving out sweets and I think that has a lot to do with the number of people who have joined.’

McCracken and Worth were big fans of seeing little kids as they came by.

“I love all the little guys, the kids that come all dressed up,” McCracken said.

Worth agreed. McCracken pointed to one costumed boy who stood out, bringing a twinkle to his eye.

“This kid had cardboard boxes for his hands and feet,” McCracken said. “It was a robot. He was amazing. Someone had to get him his candy because he couldn’t move his arms and legs.”

McCracken said it’s “just nice” to see activity downtown. Worth called it “energy.”

“This is two weekends in a row, there’s been a lot of energy downtown,” McCracken said. “With the Walk of the Undead and the Rotary Pub Crawl and then the Spooktacular, all three events probably attracted different segments of the population. But downtown has energy.”

Worth scowled. She is happy to see others having fun.

“That’s our goal, is to turn things around and get more activity here,” Worth said. “The more we can do the better.”

Contact reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com.

Heidi Talbert and her 2-year-old Fawna were dressed as a deer and a bear for the Downtown Aberdeen Association's

Heidi Talbert and her 2-year-old Fawna were dressed as a deer and a bear for the Downtown Aberdeen Association’s “Spooktacular” on Saturday. While Fawn can be seen squirming, both mother and daughter appeared to be having a great time as they posed for a complimentary photo by Rick Moyer of Moyer Multimedia, LLC. (Matthew N. Wells/The Daily World)

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