Downtown, farmers market welcome trick-or-treaters

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 8, 2019


ROCHESTER — Those anxious for Halloween can dress up in costume and start their celebration early in downtown Rochester.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, the city will host its annual trick or treat downtown event — which includes trick-or-treating, a costume parade, a spaghetti dinner and a new Halloween Fest.

The event has been held annually for more than 12 years and it always fills the sidewalks, according to Rochester Downtown Development Authority Events Coordinator Jenna O’Dell.

“If it’s bright and beautiful, we get close to 1,000 people. Last year, it was a little rainy, but we still had quite the crowd. We were probably over 500,” she said.

This year, nearly 50 businesses — all marked with window signs — will hand out goodies to costumed children and their families 3:30-5 p.m. Trick-or-treating will be held rain or shine, and people are encouraged to bring bags to hold all the goodies.

“Trick or treat will head one way on each side of Main Street, so the east side will run one way north and the west side will run one way south to help the flow of traffic on the sidewalk,” O’Dell explained.

After collecting candy, families are invited to meet in the public parking lot at the corner of Water Street and University Drive to participate in a costume parade beginning at 5:15 p.m. The parade group, joined by a police car and a fire truck, will proceed south on Water Street and will stop at the Rochester Fire Station.

A spaghetti dinner to benefit Rochester Area Youth Assistance will be held 4:30-7 p.m. at the fire station. Tickets, which will be on sale at the door, cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. The proceeds will benefit RAYA, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to strengthen youths and families and to reduce the incidence of delinquency, abuse and neglect through volunteer involvement.

The crowd can head to the parking lot at the corner of East Third and Water streets, one block east of Main, for the new Halloween Fest 5-7 p.m.

“We hosted Movies in the Moonlight, Halloween edition, the last two years, but because you never know what the weather will be like in October, we decided to do a Halloween Fest instead and get the trick-or-treaters engaged after the costume parade, so they have a little extra fun in the evening,” O’Dell said.

At Halloween Fest, families can enjoy Halloween-themed games and prizes, strolling magician Anthony Grupido, and a photo opportunity with Ecto-1 and the Metro Detroit Ghostbusters. The Linda Rea Team will donate pumpkins to the first 125 trick-or-treaters who stop by their pumpkin patch, and The Little Donut Factory will have warm doughnuts for sale.

Trick-or-treating downtown is sponsored by Kimi K Salon & Spa, Nail Lounge, O’Connor’s Public House, The Urban Merchant and The Linda Rea Team.

The following weekend, costumed kids who visit the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday, Oct. 26, its final day of the season, will receive a free goodie bag and special treats from vendors. There will also be a Halloween-themed craft and live music. Parents and their kids are invited to come out rain or shine.

While kids collect free goodies and treats, parents can purchase apples, corn, gourds, pumpkins, and other fresh fall produce and specialty items.

“It’s just a really great way for us to wrap up the end of the summer farmers market season,” said DDA Marketing Coordinator Taylor Clayton. “It’s your last chance to purchase anything you might want from some of your favorite vendors, as well as celebrate the Halloween season.”

For more information, call (248) 656-0060 or visit