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Trick or treat in downtown Rochester and get something good to eat

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 20, 2015

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ROCHESTER — Families can celebrate Halloween early in downtown Rochester this month with trick-or-treating, a costume parade and an expanded spaghetti dinner at the new Fire Department building Oct. 24.

The fun kicks off 30 minutes earlier than usual, at 3:30 p.m., when approximately 50 downtown businesses will hand out goodies to costumed children during Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Rochester until 5 p.m.

The annual event — which has been held for more than eight years, rain or shine — is popular and always fills the sidewalks, according to Stephanie Hellebuyck, events coordinator for the Downtown Development Authority.

“This year we are starting trick-or-treating a half-hour earlier due to the larger crowds, to give people more time to get through. Traffic is going to be one-way on the sidewalk going around the core downtown on Main Street to help with the crowds too,” she said.

The event is a great opportunity for families to see some really cute and creative costumes while picking up free goodies and experiencing the new and familiar businesses in Rochester, according to Hellebuyck.

“It gives people a chance to get outside before Halloween, because we all know that sometimes the weather isn’t always agreeable for trick-or-treaters, so it’s just another opportunity for them to put on their costumes and come downtown,” she said.

Hellebuyck said she wants to remind people to dress for the weather the day of the event and bring bags to hold all of the goodies. Participating businesses will be marked with signage the day of the event.

After trick-or-treating downtown, children and their parents can meet in the public parking lot at the corner of Water Street and University 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 end up at the Rochester Fire Department.

Following the parade, families can head inside the Fire Department, which is hosting a spaghetti dinner event benefiting Rochester Area Youth Assistance 4:30-7 p.m. New this year, the spaghetti dinner also includes a free kids’ craft area, where children can decorate a pumpkin, as well as a showing of “Hotel Transylvania” inside the Fire Department’s community room.

“It will be the most awesome spaghetti dinner to date,” said Rochester City Councilman Rob Ray. “It will be hard not to have a good time.”

Tickets for the spaghetti dinner — which will have traditional pasta and gluten-free pasta available upon request — are on sale at the door, and cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and younger.

“This is the most important fundraiser that the organization has,” Ray said. “They do tremendous work stretching every dollar.”

Rochester Area Youth Assistance is a nonprofit organization whose goal is “to strengthen youth and families in the Rochester community and to reduce the incidence of delinquency, abuse and neglect through community partnerships.”

For more information, call (248) 656-0060 or visit www.DowntownRochesterMI.com.

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