Safe 'N Sane Halloween event saved by volunteers
Come Halloween weekend, there will be not one, but two opportunities for tiny ghosts and ghouls to be goblin-up candy around downtown Hillsboro.
Hillsboro Downtown Partnership, an alliance of downtown businesses, is organizing the second-annual Harvest on Main, set for Oct. 28. The event is an extension of the last Hillsboro Farmers' Market of the season, and will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Previously, the partnership organized the downtown's annual Safe 'N Sane event, a trick-or-treat on Halloween night. But, the organization plans to move the event to the Saturday before Halloween this year.
According to Saira Siddiqui, the former executive director of HDP who left the organization last month, the change was to make Halloween about something more than just candy.
"This year we're incorporating these new activities to diversify the event and encourage people to stay longer," she told the Tribune last year.
Harvest on Main will include Halloween-themed games, a photo booth, a cornhole tournament, food and entertainment while streets are closed for the farmers' market.
From a business perspective, the Halloween candy-craze was a chance to give back to the community even if it didn't translate to a boost in customer traffic, according to Bag & Baggage Productions Artistic Director Scott Palmer.
"It's not like all of those thousands of children walking by The Venetian — where we used to perform — the 3-, 4- and 5-year-old kids were not like, 'Wow, really? Steinbeck? I love him! I want to come see the show," said Palmer, a recent addition to the Partnership's board of director.
Streets will still be open on Halloween night, however.
A group of downtown residents and business owners have organized their own Halloween trick-or-treating event from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31, but the event has no connection to Harvest on Main.
Dawn Sellers, the owner of Primrose and Tumbleweeds wine shop and a longtime downtown resident, said the city's traditional Safe N Sane event is a Hillsboro event worth saving — especially for the kids.
"Myself and the other people involved in coordinating this year's event knew we would have kids show up anyway," she said. "It's one of those things where, when you do it every year for 30 years, people know it's going to happen. You don't have to advertise it, people just know and show up. We knew we would have thousands of kids down there looking for candy, so we had to do it."
Sellers said many businesses have expressed support of a Halloween trick-or-treat event. A group of volunteers will begin handing out posters to interested businesses in the coming weeks, and Sellers said she hopes to get fliers at surrounding schools.
"We're keeping it very simple," she said.
Correction: Harvest on Main is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 28, not Friday, Oct. 27 as stated in an earlier version of this story.