Streets were packed Saturday night as local businesses passed out candy to all sorts of ghouls, goblins and assorted creaturesCheck out Alachua County Today on Facebook for more photos at http://www.facebook.com/ACTNEWS

It wasn’t exactly lions, tigers and bear, oh my, but it was an evening of superheroes, princesses and witches as thousands of Halloween fun seekers took over Alachua’s downtown area Saturday during the city’s annual Trick-or-Treat on Main Street from 7 – 9 p.m.  

The downtown area’s Scarecrow Row set the stage with costumed scarecrows adorning lampposts along the winding street, greeting visitors along the way. Young and old alike, dressed in their spookiest or most creative costumes, joined in the festivities.  The upbeat crowd moved back and forth along both sides of Main Street, as children trick-or-treated door-to-door in search of sweet treats from local businesses.

Highlights of the evening included the announcement of Scarecrow Row winners, costume contests sponsored by the Alachua Chamber of Commerce and a bike raffle fundraiser conducted by the Alachua Lions Club. 

City of Alachua Recreation Director Hal Brady announced the winners of Scarecrow Row and presented each with a plaque and a monetary award.  Winners were Capital City Banks in first place, Douglas M. Adel, D.D.S., P.A. in second place and Gainesville Family Dentistry in third place.

Wearing his trademark three or four colorful neckties looped around his neck, Brady said, “Downtown Alachua is a great place to be on Halloween.  Trick-or-Treat on Main Street gives everybody somewhere to go to have a good time, and the kids have a ball.”

Costume contestants were divided into age groups, and Alachua Elementary Principal Jim Brandenburg called each of the groups to the stage for viewing by the judges as camera flashes illuminated an assortment of characters.  In the Pre-K category, winners were Brennen and Rilyn Bentley, Graycee Adams, Colton Roberts, Jackson McCallum and Brooklyn Howard.  Winners in the K- 2nd grade division were Riley Applebee, Taj Smith, Coleman Neal, Molly Branham and Gracie Skiner.  Winners in the 3rd – 5th grade division were Jordan Evans, Kayla Tindall, Alexis Greenberg, Amelia MacCallum and Zachary Zewick.  In grades 6-8, winners were Angela Underwood and Arissa Sawyer, Joseph Deen, Grace Divito, Shawna Fissell, Tristan Bass, Nathan Amparo and Montana Parrish.  In the high school through adult category, winners were Paul McKnight, Taylor Wilson, Brock Timmerman, Tracy Silvia and Beth Eddy.

In the Alachua Lions Club drawing for the bicycle, Lions Club member Don James, Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper and Alachua City Commissioner Ben Boukari rolled the mesh cage filled with tickets, mixing and tumbling them under the eyes of a watchful crowd.  After a final twirl, a young costumed trick-or-treater dressed as a glittering blue butterfly reached in the cage and withdrew the winning ticket revealing the big winner as Kris Browning, new owner of the Gator bike.

Trick-or-Treat on Main Street is a longtime annual event sponsored by the Alachua Chamber of Commerce and City of Alachua offering children a safe environment to enjoy Halloween festivities.  It is one of a series of events taking place in downtown Alachua during the fall season, along with the Alachua Harvest Festival sponsored by the Alachua Business League, Shop - Dine - Stroll sponsored by the Alachua Chamber of Commerce and the Alachua Christmas Parade sponsored by the City of Alachua and the Alachua Chamber of Commerce.