Trick-or-treat events Friday in Henry County

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Get your costumes and candy bags ready, kids!

Local officials and businesses are kicking off Halloween celebrations a little early this year, with trick-or-treating events expected to draw crowds in three Henry County cities.

Festivities in McDonough will begin Friday, with the annual Trick-or-Treating on the Square from 3-5 p.m., says the city’s Main Street Program Manager, Lauren Singleton.

“If I had sum it up in three words, it would be candy, candy, candy,” says Singleton with a laugh. “All the businesses around downtown will be passing out candy. We will have some local merchants giving out candy on the actual Square as well.”

Trick-or-Treating on the Square has become a tradition in McDonough over the years, with residents and business owners going all out to get into the Halloween spirit. Singleton says it is difficult to tell exactly how many kids will show up for the free event, but that the Square will be packed with kids in costumes.

“We’ve tried to estimate it in years past,” says Singleton. “The closest that we’ve gotten, I think, is around 1,000 people. It’s all about promoting the small businesses here in McDonough.”

Singleton adds that the Great American Cookie Company in Locust Grove is donating about 1,000 cookies to hand out at the Welcome Center during the event.

For more information, call the McDonough Welcome Center at 678-782-6230 or visit www.

Trick-or-treating will also be available in downtown Hampton Friday, from 4-6 p.m., in the downtown area. The annual event is hosted by the Hampton Business & Merchants Association.

Sharon Tarpley, president of the association, says her group’s trick-or-treating event has been a mainstay in Hampton for more than 18 years. She says the event is designed as a way for local businesses to thank the public for supporting them throughout the year.

“We have lots of kids,” says Tarpley. “They love this time of year. So do the parents. This way, the kids can be right here, and the merchants can give back to the community.”

Hampton Main Street Program Director, Denise McKay adds that local churches are invited to give away candy during the event.

Her program, she says, will also feature a costume contest that day at 5:45 p.m., in Depot Park. Categories for costumes in the contest include the cutest, the most original, the scariest and the best-all around costume.

“That’s something that’s going to be hard to judge,” says McKay. “The creativity of people in the area is just amazing. Some of the costumes are pretty scary, but most of them are flat-out adorable.”

For more information on Halloween-themed events in Hampton, call 770-946-4306.

Locust Grove will host its annual Trunk or Treat and Haunted Hayride Friday at 5 p.m. Business owners, churches and families in the area will pass out candy from the trunks of decorated vehicles lined up around City Hall, says the city’s Main Street Program Manager, Anna Williams.

“We’ve done this for a few years now, and it’s a very well-attended event,” says Williams. “We get about a thousand kids. People get really into it with costumes, and we have a contest for the best decorated trunk.”

Kids and parents aren’t the only ones who get excited about Locust Grove’s Halloween celebration. Williams says city leaders, including Mayor Robert Price, will join in the festivities as well.

“The mayor actually drives the tractor for the Haunted Hayride, and the city council usually also attends and helps give out candy,” she says. “The police department helps out a whole lot with this event. It’s definitely one of Locust Grove’s most popular events all year long.”

Hamburgers and hot dogs will be available for sale during Locust Grove’s event. Williams says vehicle owners must have their trunks set up by 4:45 p.m., in order to participate. For more information, call 770-692-2320.