The atmosphere downtown will soon be ghoulish, as Boo on Bell 2019 takes hold of downtown, beginning Thursday, Oct. 24, through Saturday, Oct. 26, centering in the general area around Main and Bell.
Safe Events For Families (SEFF) has lined up lots of family-friendly activities for residents over the weekend.
On Thursday, the carnival opens at 5 p.m. at Seventh and Bell, just behind Neal's Home Furnishings at 23 E. Main. Also, at 7 p.m. Paranormal Tours begin at KIRC Radio, at 2 E. Main.
On Friday, several activities are set to entertain. The carnival, food court, and a video game tournament in Bell Street Arcade will all start at 5 p.m.; beginning at 6 p.m., Spooky Tales, live music, S'mores, fire pits, pumpkin painting, games and ghost tours will ensue.
Through Saturday, the community Halloween-fest will play host to a number of forms of entertainment, food and activities; the day's activities will begin at 9:30 a.m. and wrap up at 8 p.m.
Among the most popular events each year, a 5K run starts at 10 a.m. at Main and Bell; the Frankenmutt Howl'ween Pet Costume Contest will be at 11 a.m. at the Bell Street stage; the kids and family costume contest begins at 2 p.m., with trick-or-treating to follow at 3:30 p.m. The Thriller Flash Dance is set for 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the Monster Mash Street Dance is at 7 p.m. Many other activities are planned, as well.
For nearly two decades Boo on Bell has entertained Shawnee-area residents.
SEFF member Ed Bolt has said people come from all over now to take part in the fun.
All weekend, the carnival will be in operation, Bolt said.
“We just want everybody to come down and have some fun,” he said. “Sure, there are particular things that cost money, like food and shopping, but there's also a lot of free fun to be had.”
Vendors, food trucks, the carnival, and musical entertainment will be available starting at 5 p.m. Redgrass Band will take the stage at 6 p.m. at Main and Bell. At 7:30 p.m., adult spooky campfire tales will be at 9th and Bell.
Among the offerings throughout the day are ghost tours, costume contests, Boo Bingo, vendors, music, dancing, entertainer Orange Rex, food trucks and ghost story-telling, BMX stunt shows, rock painting and Spirit Coach rides.
Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to navigate the festival area in a counter-clockwise loop to collect goodies; the line is along Bell Street — from Main to 10th — and Main Street from Beard to Minnesota.
The Hornbeck Theater at 5:30 p.m. will offer a free screening of Beetlejuice.
A Monster Mash Street Dance starts at 7 p.m.
To see a full schedule for Boo on Bell, search SEFF Shawnee on Facebook.