DERRY — It was a day full of community spirit and Halloween treats.
Derry Parks and Recreation hosted its annual downtown trick-or-treat event on Oct. 26 with businesses all along Broadway, Crystal Avenue and Hood Commons opening their doors for families and their children to stop by for treats.
The annual community event brings hundreds of visitors to downtown Derry.
Parents and children dressed up to walk all over town to gather candy.
Businesses participating usually see upward of 500 or more children stopping by in a few hours time. Some run out of candy quickly, others keep their doors open anyway to be part of the Halloween spirit.
The day kicks off at Veterans Hall with a costume contest and parade. The children then take to Derry’s downtown to collect the Halloween goods.
Dressing up like favorite super heroes was popular this year.
“We’re the Avengers,” Bob Shea said.
His son, Robby, 5, was Iron Man and Shea dressed up like the Hulk.
Mom Kathy Shea wore her favorite costume — a Boston Red Sox jersey.
“We love the Red Sox outfit,” she said.
Her husband said this may be his last year to dress as the Hulk.
“I think I want to do something else next year,” he said.
Many businesses not only offered candy, but also special activities. The Tim Barchard martial arts studio offered a “wheel of fortune” game to give children a chance to spin for candy and prizes.
It wasn’t just local businesses handing out information and treats. The Derry Republican Committee set up shop on Broadway to meet and greet families.
Parks and Recreation has hosted the weekend Halloween event in town for several years, a chance for families to get out and enjoy the day while helping support local business at the same time.
Parks and Recreation coordinator Nicole Ferrante said the day is win/win for both families and business.
“Every year, it seems to grow,” she said. “Merchants are so involved and excited. We are proud to see it grow to this level.”
Ferrante said new businesses get exposure by opening their doors and more established ones get the word out about what they do.
Town organizations like Community Alliance for Teen Safety also find local businesses to team up with to get involved in the day.