Children, parents and pets dressed Friday in costumes ranging from scary to super hero for the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority’s largest annual downtown event, the Scarecrow Stroll and Beggars Night.
“It’s unbelievable, the turnout,” said Trevor Sikes, owner of RTS Homes, LLC. “We expected a crowd, but I didn’t expect this many people.”
Sikes said his staff had given out 1,150 bags of candy about midway through the family friendly event. RTS Homes employees were dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. RTS Homes is a home-design and construction company that opened in downtown Hinesville about a year ago.
“Our theme is ‘There’s no place like an RTS Home,’” said Lesley Heath, dressed as Dorothy. Dorothy held her little silver-haired dog, Ralph, who portrayed Toto.
Sikes said the HDDA-sponsored event helps promote the city’s downtown area.
“Everybody comes together,” he said.
“It’s always a good turnout here,” said Miranda Sikes, dressed as Glinda, the good witch of the north. “This is our second year with the event.”
This year, the Halloween celebration offered participants a zombie walk, hay rides, a ghost tour, a “Thriller” performance and a costume contest. There also was traditional “trick-or-treating,” with local merchants handing out candy to Liberty County children from 4-6 p.m. Other events ran until 9 p.m.
Scarecrows stood sentinel in Bradwell Park. Various organizations and schools set up scarecrow displays, complete with hay bales and pumpkins.
Some new organizations joined in the fun this year. Members of the new SoutherN EliteZ, part of the United Nations Foundation GirlUp network, handed out information and painted little trick-or-treaters’ faces. SoutherN EliteZ advisor, Legazy Pierson, plans to soon introduce the organization to Liberty County School System officials.
Patty Leon, Courier sports writer and president of Bump in the Night Investigations Inc., led a one-hour walking ghost tour filled with local folklore and legends that surround the city and Liberty County. Leon added history to the mix, informing ghost-tour participants about what area buildings and sites were used for in days past.
“Some of the locations are some of the places, we’ve investigated in the past,” she said.
Leon said the Caswell House on North Main Street, which once housed a doctor’s office, is one of the most notoriously haunted places in Liberty County, and her group hopes to investigate it someday.
The ghost tour ended at the old historic jail, which was transformed into a haunted house for the event. Christina Anthony supervised the haunted-house activity.
For more information about HDDA, go to hinesvilledowntown.com.