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Halloweentown returns to thrill trick-or-treaters

By Vicky O. Misa | Vicky.misa@news-star.com | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar
The Shawnee News-Star
Trick-or-Treaters head for the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center Convention Center during its first Halloweentown event last year.
This year's event has just been cancelled due to  COVID-19 precautions.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to thwart traditional gatherings — causing residents to remain scattered with covered faces — there shines hope for local would-be trick-or-treaters as Shawnee's second Halloweentown event makes a stand for all spooky and/or fantastical fun-lovers.

Spectra, the venue management provider for Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, is again hosting its free spook-inspired event — from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.

First-place winner of the costume contest at Halloweentown's first event last year.

At this point, the specifics of the event's operation are still being nailed down, General Manager Erin Stevens said.

“General environment status and feedback from pending booths will dictate if we will be doing the town as a drive-thru or walk-through,” she said. “Either way the event will take place in one of our exhibition buildings this year (not the conference center) to enable proper social distancing.”

Last year — its inaugural family-friendly event — Halloweentown encountered more than 3,000 attendees as it featured food trucks, inflatables, lots of candy and pumpkin carving and costume contests.

“We are looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful and creative costumes again this year,” she said. 

Second-place winner of the costume contest at The Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center's Halloweentown event last year.

Something new

This year, Stevens said the event is adding something new to give back to the community.

“While the event is free, we are asking that everyone that is able to bring one or two non-perishable food items for our food drive to donate to the local Community Market,” she said. “Especially in trying times, coming together as a community and giving back even in small ways can make a world of a difference.” 

Third-place winners of the costume contest at The Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center's Halloweentown event last year.

Still time to get involved

“We are actively seeking booth vendors to involve their business or organization in this wonderful community event,” she said. “There will be a nominal $25 booth fee and booths are asked to provide their own candy or items to hand out to trick-or-treaters.”

The expo also is actively seeking community sponsors to help decorate, provide additional candy and volunteers to help with activities and cleaning, Stevens said. 

More details are coming; watch for updates.

For more information, follow the expo's Facebook Page and/or website, at shawneeexpo.org.