Downtown to hold festivities for the holiday

Published 10:10 am Monday, October 26, 2009

Area adults will have the opportunity to take part in a little Halloween fun on Thursday, while also supporting downtown Albert Lea business owners.

During the second annual Ride the Broom Down Broadway Halloween — put on by the Albert Lea Downtown Association and Destination Albert Lea — there will be tricks and treats in downtown businesses, pumpkin carving, dinner and a costume contest.

“This event was so much fun last year, and we’ve had customers ask if we were going to do it again,” said Tami Staker, owner of Celebrations Party & Gifts, who is also involved with the Albert Lea Downtown Association. “We’ve been talking it up, and it seems to bring a smile to our customers’ faces each time that we do. It’s just plain old-fashioned fun for Halloween.”

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As part of the event, which kicks off at 4 p.m., people can visit participating shops on Broadway Avenue. Businesses will be open late until 7 p.m. with specials. If people get a card punched at five different downtown businesses, they will be eligible for prizes later in the evening.

What: Ride the Broom Down Broadway

Who: Adults

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday; pumpkin carving at 6 p.m.; costume contest at 8 p.m.

Where: Downtown Albert Lea

“We’re looking forward to it because everyone who participated had such a great time last year,” said Linda Knudsen, owner of Plymouth Shoes, who is also involved with the Downtown Association. “I think it’s a great thing for the retail shops to put on such an event that worked for everyone. We’re just hoping that we have as much success with the Halloween event that we had last year.”

It also brings an awareness to the downtown.

The pumpkin-carving contest will be at the American Legion Club from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to bring a clean pumpkin and their own carving tools. The best pumpkin wins a prize.

Then at 8 p.m. at the American Legion, there will be the costume contest, with three $100 prizes awarded for the scariest, most clever and cutest contest.

In addition to the usual Thursday night buffet at the American Legion, there will also be chili and cornbread.

Knudsen said the Halloween event is one of several events the Downtown Association is planning for the next year. Downtown business owners are trying to come up with quarterly events to bring people to the downtown and to unite retail owners. The next will be the Holiday Stroll after Thanksgiving.

Participating retailers and sponsors in the Halloween event include Adams Originals Shop, Addie’s Floral & Gifts, the American Legion, Art on Broadway, Brick Furniture/BG Loft, Celebrations Party & Gifts, Courtly Manor, Crescendo, Expressions Salon & Spa, Frames R Us, Hammer Dieser & Mangskau, Let Electronics, Mary Go Round Shoppe, Plymouth Shoe Store, Reinertson’s Embroidery, Stadheim Jewelers, Sterling Drug, Story Lady Doll & Toy Museum and Tiger City Sports.