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Halloween festival returns to ‘glory’ days

America’s second oldest Halloween parade will celebrate its 74th anniversary this weekend at the Halloween on the Square festival, which starts Saturday at noon.
Halloween on the Square committee chairperson Cory Williams said, beginning at 8 a.m., Beaver Street will be closed for vendor set-up, followed by Elm Street closing at 6.
Nonprofit organizations will host activities for children, where they have an opportunity to earn candy, from noon to 6 p.m. Some activities are free, while others require tickets. The Old Capitol Business Association will manage the information booth, where tickets can be purchased for 50 cents each and official event T-shirts will sell for $2.50. Inflatables will also be set up, donated by Limeberry Lumber.
Williams said another favorite activity back this year is the Cakewalk, sponsored by Unity Chapel United Methodist Church.
Kicking off Saturday’s activities will be a concert by Foolish Pleasure, a classic rock-and-country band. The band will perform from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand on the town square.
Food vendors also open at noon, with traditional fares being offered until 6 p.m. Carriage rides from Welcome Home Carriage Rides also begin at noon. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
Caricatures by Denny Whalen will be available from noon to 6 p.m. Cost is $10 per caricature.
Face painting by Premiere Face Painting is from 3 to 6 p.m. Whole face, $5; cheek art, $3.
Kevin (K.T.) Rice, originally from New Middletown, will perform a magic show on the bandstand at 2 p.m., followed by costume contests at 3 and 4. The first contest is for pets. There will be four categories for judging: cat, small dog, large dog and other.
Williams said she knows of at least one contestant for this category, a goat.
The second contest consists of eight categories, based on ages of the participants, ranging from infant to adult. All registration is on-site at the time of the event.
At 4 p.m., Southern Indiana Writers will host a Ghost Walk beginning on the corner of Beaver Street and Capitol Avenue. The Writers will stop by seven locations and a ghost story, featuring Corydon as the backdrop, from their compilation ‘Ghosts on the Square … and Elsewhere,’ will be read. Copies of the book will be available for purchase after the tour.
The 74th annual Halloween Parade line-up and registration begins at 5:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds south of town. The theme this year is ‘Circus and Circus Sideshow,’ but Williams said that doesn’t mean strict adherence to the theme will be required, so floats do not have to follow the theme. Any and all are welcome to participate.
The parade, which will travel north on Capitol Avenue from the fairgrounds to Walnut Street, begins at 6:30 p.m., and awards will be given to the five best floats, best antique car, best animal unit, three best walking groups and the best performing unit.
Following the parade, Trick-or-Treat Around the Square begins for trick-or-treaters 12 and younger only, with local merchants participating. The Louisville Ghost Hunters Society will also be on the square for storytelling.
For something a little scarier, Hayswood Theatre’s Haunted Theatre, for ages 6 and older, opens at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. Also, Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home will sponsor a Tent of Terror with some yucky, hands-on displays inside.
Williams said the grand finale of the evening will be The Great Baldini, a magician and performer from the Louisville area. He walks on broken glass, eats fire, walks up a ladder of swords and hammers a 16-penny nail into his head, just to name a few. Baldini’s performance begins at 8:30 p.m. on the bandstand.
Williams said she took on the role as chairperson of this event because a big part of her own childhood was coming to events held on the square.
‘Those are the things I remember,’ she said, ‘and the things that the community misses.’
She hopes the event can eventually get back to ‘the old glory’ it once was.
Halloween on the Square is sponsored by the OCBA, Main Street Corydon, the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Friends of the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site, along with many merchant Spooky Sponsors.
For more information on the event, log on to www.HalloweenontheSquare.com or call Williams at her store, Scrapbook Daze, at 738-7272.

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