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Halloween in the ‘Nac set for this Saturday, Oct. 22

Photo courtesy of Algonac Alive/Facebook The fourth annual Halloween in the ‘Nac will take place this Saturday, Oct. 22 from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

A parade, children’s games and live entertainment planned

By Barb Pert Templeton

If we can believe our weather forecasters it looks like this weekend will be the perfect temperature for outdoor fun, with the thermometer close to 70 degrees minus any rain. 

Great news for the organizers of Halloween in the ‘Nac in Algonac.

The free event will commence in the city this Saturday, Oct. 22 at 12:30 p.m. when parade entrant’s lineup at the Pet Center at 413 Washington Street with the parade stepping off at 1 p.m. headed for Smith Recreation Park. At the park there will be 30 local businesses and non-profit agencies hosting game booths for the kids which will include prizes and candy, 30 vendor booths selling everything from Halloween themed trinkets to baked goods and live entertainment throughout the afternoon.

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Photo courtesy of Algonac Alive/Facebook
A new local group, “The Swamp Witches” will perform at the Halloween in the ‘Nac event this weekend.

Michael Bembas, with the group Algonac Alive, said this is the fourth annual Halloween in the ‘Nac and the event is always very popular and well attended. He said Algonac Alive is a local non-profit created by volunteers from the community who raise funds to help out with projects in the city. 

“Proceeds will support new local businesses that come into the community and to pay for decorations placed in and around the community during the different seasons,” Bembas said.

At the conclusion of the park party at 4 p.m. people will move downtown to Riverside Park where 1,000 rubber ducks will be dumped into the river for a race. Bembas said Algonac Alive has been selling the ducks, at $5 each, all year and each entrant is given a number with the first three across the finish line receiving prizes. First prize is $500, 2nd is $250 and 3rd is $100.

Photo courtesy of Michael and Jill Bembas
An open house tour with a witches’ theme will be held at Michael and Jill Bembas’ home on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

The Algonac Fire Department handles the duck race along the water and there’s special tubing that creates the opportunity for the ducks to go single file into the winner’s circle.

A day of fun

The parade is a huge affair with people of all ages lining up in their costumes and utilizing everything from cars, bikes, skateboards and wagons, all decorated, to make their way along the parade route.

“Everyone’s all decorated up and just having fun,” Bembas said.

As they arrive at Smith Field more than 30 game booths will be ready to challenge the kids while handing out candy. Bowling pins, a bean bag toss, place a hoop around the pumpkin and pick up a floating duck from a pond are among the games. 

“It’s like a trunk or treat without the cars and with the games every kid’s a winner,” Bembas said.

There will also be a skateboard competition that will allow teens to show off their talents on the course. Bembas said it’s a popular attraction and draws 30 to 40 competitors each year.

Entertainment in the form of clowns and costumed characters making balloon animals will meet and greet kids in the park throughout the afternoon. 

Two new entertainment acts include “Jeepers Creepers” a group of ladies who own jeeps and will decorate them for Halloween and present them like a car show at the park. The other group, “Swamp Witches” is comprised of local women who will dress as witches and perform dance numbers for the crowd.

A performance by young dancers from Mrs. Bobbette’s dance studio in Algonac, a longstanding staple in the community, will also return to perform during Halloween in the ‘Nac.

Photo courtesy of Algonac Alive/Facebook A rubber ducky race will round out the festivities for the 2022 Halloween in the ‘Nac event with the fowl racing down the St. Clair River at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Food concessions will be hosted by Lighthouse Café from Clay Township. 

Take a house tour

At the conclusion of the full-day of events in the city, Bembas invites the public to his home to take a tour of his tremendous collection of Halloween décor. This year’s theme is Witches and his old Victorian home, located at 1713 St. Clair River Drive, is decorated top to bottom to embrace the holiday.

The house is open from 6 to 9 p.m. and admission is a $5 donation which goes to the Algonac Food Pantry. Bembas said the experience, which includes all ground floor rooms awash in decorations, is not like visiting a haunted house but more like a museum tour. 

“People just come and walk through and talk with us and stay as long as they want,” he said.

The collection includes a huge variety of old, new and repurposed items and in fact Bembas said it might actually be easier if he and his wife, Jill Bembas, simply donated the money to the food bank but he loves the event too much.

“A big part of this is the interaction with all the people and our friends and neighbors from here in Algonac,” he said. 

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