Some free, themed events Saturday, Oct. 26, will give Paulding County residents young and old reasons to venture out locally on the weekend before Halloween is celebrated.
The 23rd annual Halloween Trick or Treat Village sponsored by the Paulding County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department; and a series of three “Creepy Classics” movies at the Dallas Theater, will be offered free and open to the public.
Paulding County has been hosting Halloween Trick or Treat Village for 22 years “with the help of volunteers from the community, businesses and churches,” said department director Michael Justus.
The event featuring “candy, fun and games” is scheduled for 2 to 7 p.m. at Earl Duncan Park at Paulding Meadows, located at 472 Paulding Meadows Drive in Dallas.
Vickie Williams, the department’s programs superintendent, said attendees can choose among any of 15 activity or themed game areas; be a passenger on a hayride traveling through much of Earl Duncan Park; or request any of the 10,000 pieces of candy expected to be available from 22 booths hosted by local civic, government and business organizations.
Children up to 12 years of age also can participate in a costume parade, Williams said.
The department does not charge participating organizations booth fees — though it does ask them to provide candy and decorate their spots, Williams said. Awards are given for top booths.
Those staffing booths typically range from governmental agencies such as the Circuit Court clerk’s office, to private entities like local businesses and daycares, and civic groups like the Girl Scouts and PTAs, Williams said.
It was originally envisioned as a “safe, family-friendly alternative” to trick or treating through neighborhoods, Williams said.
Justus said he worked with his staff and community members to create the event in 1997.
“We were looking for an event to bring the community together at a time when there were very few events offered by the department,” he said.
“You always draw on previous experiences when you can but I can’t say that I had been a part of an event of this sort before this one,” he said.
“It is unique, though, because of the countless volunteers that we’ve had to help us pull this off.”
Williams said it also was an effort to create an “event for the entire community” to bring county government, business and civic representatives together for a single purpose, Williams said.
Organizers expected 500 to attend the first year but got 1,500 instead, she said.
It now attracts about 8,500 annually and has only been rained out once, Williams said.
“It has grown year after year with community support,” she said.
For more information, call 770-445-8065 or visit recreation.paulding.gov.
‘CREEPY CLASSICS’“Creepy Classics: A Halloween Movie Event” is set for Saturday, Oct. 26, and offers free movies on the Dallas Theater’s big screen at 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m.
The movies begin with the 1995 fantasy/comedy “Casper” at 3 p.m., which is rated PG, and transitions to more adult-oriented fare as the day goes on.
Tim Burton’s 1988 classic “Beetlejuice,” also rated PG, follows at 5:30 p.m. The 1996 horror thriller “Scream,” rated R, ends the day’s showings at 8 p.m.
Concessions will be available for purchase on a cash-only basis, according to the theater’s website.
Dallas Theater is at 208 Main St. in downtown Dallas.
For sponsorship opportunities or for more information, visit dallastheaterga.com/creepy-classics-event.