Clowns, pumpkins, vampires, werewolves, princesses, football players and a whole mess of other characters will be out trick or treating on Halloween in Newton this year.
City officials have scheduled Trick or Treat Night also known as Beggars’ Night on Oct. 31. Newton Mayor Chaz Allen said the switch was made to accommodate the Trick or Treat event and to avoid other school activities that may take place on Friday night.
“It will be a fun night,” he said. “Kids can go on the square and trick or treat then head out around town for Halloween at 6 p.m. when trick or treat begins.”
Allen said although many people may question how Beggars’ Night is scheduled it’s actually based on several things.
“There are several things that affect Halloween,” the mayor said. “One is football games and other school activities and the other thing is church night.”
With Oct. 31 falling on a Saturday neither of those factors came into play. Trick or treating in Newton will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Halloween night.
Also scheduled for Halloween is the third annual Trick or Treat Downtown event where local businesses will have treats for local children who participate in the event which begins at 3 p.m. with a pet costume contest, followed by trick or treating at local businesses at 4 p.m.
Trick or treaters will start at the Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce and Newton Convention and Visitors’ Bureau office and head east to participating businesses.
“It’s a great event because it’s still light out so for smaller trick or treaters it’s safer,” said Annette West, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. “We are really excited because following our event is the city’s trick or treat evening so it will be a great little afternoon and evening for all our little goblins and ghosts.”
To get Jasper County residents geared up for Halloween, another annual event is the Jasper County Conservation Board’s Halloween hike featuring “Jasper Your Friendly Host and the Defenders of the Night.” The hike is set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.
Skits will be performed by Newton Boy Scout Troop 354. The hike will be at Mariposa Recreation Area, which is located about seven miles northeast of Newton on Hwy. T-12. The last hike will begin at 8 p.m. The cost is $3 per person, children 3 and younger are free.
“It’s a great event for families,” said Keri Van Zante, JCCB executive director. “It’s fun and not scary hike where people will learn about animal defense mechanisms, get to do some black light tracking, decorate a pumpkin and roasting marshmallows