Pottawatomie County residents are invited to get their tricks and kicks, or treats, on at the 12th annual Boo on Bell Halloween festival Oct. 28 and 29 at Main and Bell streets in Shawnee.


Pottawatomie County residents are invited to get their tricks and kicks, or treats, on at the 12th annual Boo on Bell Halloween festival Oct. 28 and 29 at Main and Bell streets in Shawnee.

The Pottawatomie County Safe Events for Families, a non-profit group, organizes the event that provides games and entertainment for children in a safe environment.

The event also dishes out more than 200,000 pieces of candy­ — about three truck loads — for the kids. Downtown merchants and local banks donate most of the treats.

“That’s not all the candy because other people come in and set up candy booths,” SEFF President Norman Wagner said.

The event lasts from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and then the festivities are resurrected again Saturday morning at 10.

There will be costume contests for pets, kids and families, as well as “haunted” carriage rides, hay rides and ghost hunts, among many other events.

SEFF volunteers commit more than 1,000 hours for the event every year, and the time and energy has paid off for the organization and community, Wagner said.

“It continues to grow. This year we have over 30 vendors in the craft area, which is the most we’ve ever had there,” Wagner said.
“We’ve had more merchants and more of the community taking an interest in it.”

The organization has put more than $10,000 back into the community in the past four years as a result of Boo on Bell, Wagner said.

Most events are free for the family, however, some events — like the pet costume contests — will have a $5 entry free.

All school-aged children will receive two free tickets to play games. Family pack tickets cost $5 and individual tickets are 50 cents.

Money from the ticket sales will go back into the non-profit organizations that help run the event.

Merchants will stay open late to accommodate attendees and the festival will end around 10 p.m. Saturday.

The Oklahoma Red Cross will be thirsty for blood in Shawnee Saturday during Boo on Bell.

The organization will hold a blood drive at Napa Auto Parts at 127 South Bell Street.