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Creepy, crawly fun at new Halloween event in downtown Hastings

Calling all ghosts and ghouls, witches and wizards. There is a new way to spend your Halloween evening in Hastings.

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the streets and businesses of downtown Hastings will transform for the inaugural Downtown Hastings Creepy Candy Crawl hosted by the Downtown Business Association.

"I feel there is a lost connection with Halloween," Nathan Kranz of Midwest Realty said. "It feels like kids today will go to a couple of houses in one block and then go to the next neighborhood, and then the next. When I was a kid, we would walk block after block."

Two blocks of Second Street will be closed off for the event, providing a safe environment for kids, teens and adults to wander without worry — a feeling, Kranz said, that was a goal of the event's organizers to replicate their own Halloween experiences as kids.

The event was created to attract people of all ages. There will be games for both younger kids and older teens, as well as massage chairs for mom and dad.

One event that sticks out is the Horrible Ishy Squishy Pumpkin Contest. Participants will be able to scoop as fast as they can to empty a pumpkin of its insides. Sound messy? Yes, but plastic ponchos will be provided so costumes stay clean.

Guests will also be able to participate in many other contests and competitions throughout the night. A trick-or-treat scavenger hunt will have you searching each storefront for a hidden item in their Halloween set up. The DJ will host a dance competition. Prizes will include Fortnite llama piñatas from the popular video game and other items.

Beware! Walking down the street from the entrance will get spookier and spookier — think blow-up cartoon pumpkins to frightening scarecrows. There will not be any references to gore or violence.

"There is enough happening, so whether people what to make a short stop and do a few activities or if they want to spend their whole Halloween evening here they will be able to," Kranz said.

Not only is the event about providing a safe and fun Halloween experience for all ages, but it is also a way to give back to the community.

Admission is free with a nonperishable food donation that will go to the food shelf at Hastings Family Service.

The Candy Crawl will act as the launch of a food drive that will last until Holiday Hoopla, which will take place Nov. 24.

"This is a fun community event. We just wanted to raise some good for the people who are down here," Kranz said.

The event still needs volunteers to pitch in. If you are interested in lending a helping hand, email or call 651-335-9466.

If you go

Here is a list of events for the first Downtown Hastings Creepy Candy Crawl:

  • Crazy hair by Hastings Beauty School, 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Adult chair massages by Caring Hands at Spiral Brewery, 5-7 p.m.
  • Horse and wagon rides, 5-8 p.m.
  • Design your own bag at 2nd Street Depot, 5-8 p.m.
  • DJ Logan with Vast Entertainment
  • Yard games for various ages
  • Pumpkin decorating
  • Cookie decorating
  • Bouncy house
  • Trick-or-treating scavenger hunt
  • Dance-off competition
  • Horrible Ishy Squishy Pumpkin contest
  • Spookiest Storefront Halloween Display contest
  • Coloring contest
  • Face painting
  • Photo stations
  • Ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy machine, hot chocolate and tons of candy