Downtown Trick-or-Treat back, bigger for 2021

Downtown Springfield will be filled with tricks and treats in the coming weeks, as a couple of local business owners have collaborated to build a full-blown Halloween celebration.

Tracey Tackett, owner of Sip & Dipity Paint Bar, says she organized the event in 2020 to try to create something fun and safe for the community to do during the year when many things had been shut down because of COVID-19.

“I was worried not only about my business but also worried about my neighbors – all of us from Fratelli’s to COhatch and beyond,” Tackett says. “I wanted to have a community event and bring people together safely.”

The event was a huge success, drawing crowds to Downtown Springfield to enjoy family trick-or-treating and patronize many of the local businesses.

This year, Tackett has teamed up with Dan Freeman, co-owner of Le Torte Dolci, Salato Deli, and Crust & Company, to make the Halloween festivities even bigger.

On Friday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., Fountain Avenue will be closed between Columbia Street and the Esplanade between The Heritage Center and the Courtyard by Marriott, Tackett says.

Closing the street this year will make the event more family-friendly and cause less worry for families bringing small children to trick-or-treat, she says.

Brick and mortar businesses along the strip will be joined by other local businesses, organizations and officials, who will set up on the sidewalks to pass out candy and provide shopping opportunities, Tackett says. Some businesses will offer food and drink specials or themed items for the event.

“We want to expose the community to all the different businesses that are out there,” Tackett says. “It’s good because it’s a community event where we invited other businesses and bring people together.”

DJ Chill will be set up at the Park at the 99 garage, and farther south, more Halloween music will be played through the outdoor speakers at COhatch, Tackett says.

The Sanderson Sisters – characters portraying the wacky witches from the Halloween movie favorite Hocus Pocus – will be available in front of Sip & Dipity for photo ops. And Balloon Dog Events will have displays set up, also near Sip & Dipity.

Clark County Municipal Court Judge Brian Driscoll will be passing out glow bracelets, and Municipal Court judge candidate David Herrier will have a hot chocolate station.

Sip & Dipity also will host a “Witch’s Brew” paint and sip party on the patio of the Courtyard by Marriott, where guest will give out candy to trick-or-treaters passing by. Part of the event proceeds will benefit the United Way of Clark, Champaign & Madison Counties.

The Downtown Trick of Treat event page – which currently shows more than 1,200 people interested in the event – includes a list of participating vendors, which is growing daily. Any business, organization, candidate or official interested in participating should contact Tackett at [email protected] to sign up.

Participants are encouraged to decorate their table areas, and both vendors and attendees are encouraged to dress up and have fun.

A map showing where participants will be set up along Fountain Avenue will be released on the page closer to the event.

“It’s a light, family-friendly event, and it’s so great to have something that gives everyone a familiar feeling to help bring people together,” Tackett says. “We want to continue the Downtown progress and expose people to the things happening down here. It’s a good energy everyone can enjoy.”

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.