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Downtown welcomes ghosts, ghouls
Not all of the costumes were scary. - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
Pretty little princesses in pastels, super heroes galore, some gruesome ghouls, a handful of sweet dragons and a baby UGA bulldog were among hundreds of children trick-or-treating downtown Friday during the second annual Scarecrow Stroll and Beggars Night. The family-oriented event was sponsored by Hinesville Downtown Partners.
“You’re never too old to go trick-or-treating,” said Alyxus Key, who turns 14 today. “I see adults go trick-or-treating.”
Alyxus and her sister, Jada Key, 12, wore elaborate, colorful costumes fashioned by their grandmother and a family friend.
“I’m an Aztec princess,” Jada said. “My sister is an Egyptian princess.”
Len Black took off work early to take her children, Regan, 7, and Haven, 4, to the event. The girls were dressed as Disney princesses, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine, respectively.
“They’re always doing something down here … Oktoberfest, Christmas … it’s great for the community,” Black said.
Nathan Michelson, a soldier mechanic with the 3rd Brigade Support Battalion, returned home from Iraq a week before the event. Michelson said he was enjoying the Halloween celebration with his family. He and his wife, Patricia, dressed their 18-month-old son Justin as a Georgia bulldog.
Small children weren’t the only “kids” dressed in costume. A number of dog lovers dressed their pooches in people costumes for Beggars Night. Angela Horner-Parrish wore a pirate costume and her dogs, Izzy, a terrier mix, and Heinz, a bulldog, were decked out in Mardi Gras-style finery.
Liberty County sheriff candidates Bobby Ryon and Steve Sikes each manned booths in Bradwell Park to give out candy and do some last minute campaigning. “It’s a good way to participate in a community function regardless of the politics,” Sikes said.
“About 40 businesses participated tonight,” Hinesville Downtown Development Authority executive director Vicki Davis said.  Davis estimated at least 1,000 people attended the Halloween celebration which lasted from 4-8:30 p.m.
In addition to local merchants handing out goodies, families toured the historic and “haunted” old Liberty County Jail, decorated pumpkins, enjoyed hay rides and gathered to watch a live performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in Main Street Park. Nine Heritage Bank employees demonstrated the iconic video dance moves before inviting the crowd to join in. Brandon Blackman as Michael Jackson and Jessie Wilkins as a glittering 80s ghoul led the street performance.
To cap off the evening, families relaxed on the grass for an outdoor showing of the movie “Casper.”

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