Local News

Return of window painting kicks off Halloweekend in St. Clair

Halloweekend in St. Clair
Halloweekend sponsored by the chamber in St. Clair. - Jim Bloch
Parade, movie, chili cook-off, carriage rides and house decorating contest follow

By Jim Bloch

Looking for a happening place to celebrate Halloween?

Try St. Clair.

For the first time in 15 years, the merchants of Riverview Plaza in downtown St. Clair encouraged kids to paint Halloween scenes on their windows.

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“When I was a little kid, I used to paint on the windows at Halloween,” said Kelly Klemmer, a board member of the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors Halloweekend in the city. “It’s exciting to bring back a nostalgic tradition.”

About 250 kids participated in the event for kindergarteners through fifth-graders, held Tuesday, Oct. 22 Klemmer said.

Halloweekend in St. Clair
Seen from inside Drifters Restaurant, kids work on Halloween window painting in St. Clair for the first time in 15 years. – Jim Bloch
Halloweekend in St. Clair
A new generation discovers Halloween window painting in St. Clair. – Jim Bloch
Halloweekend in St. Clair
Pumpkins, scary trees, the moon and ghosts fill a window at Drifters. – Jim Bloch

“Look at all these families down here,” said Brian Ulatowski, president of the chamber. “That’s why we’re doing this. A whole generation missed out on window painting.”

Window painting is the first of a number of activities under the Halloweekend banner.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, the Chamber’s Halloweekend Costume Parade kicks off at 6 p.m., flowing from St. Mary Church at Sixth Street, east on Vine and south on M-29.

Halloweekend in St. Clair
Kerry Klemmer and Brian Ulatowski of the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce. – Jim Bloch
Halloweekend in St. Clair
Riverview Plaza drew a crowd for the return of window painting. – Jim Bloch
Halloweekend in St. Clair
Riverview Plaza was decorated for Halloween. – Jim Bloch

Following the parade, the movie “Casper” screens outdoors at the plaza at 7 p.m. as merchants serve doughnuts, hot chocolate and cider.

On Friday, Oct. 25, enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown. Five restaurants will compete in a chili cook-off — War Water Brewery, Drifters, LaCroix Riverside Tavern, Anchor Point Bistro and Mannina’s Wine House. The evening’s activities center around Ulatowski’s business, Wellington Financial, on Third and Thornapple streets, west of the plaza.

Halloweekend in St. Clair
Halloweekend includes a house decorating contest. – Jim Bloch

“The winner gets a trophy and bragging rights,” said Ulatowski.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the chamber board will vote on the best-decorated house in the area. The winner will collect $250.

Anyone living in the city of St. Clair, St. Clair Township or East China Township may enter by registering here at scchamber.ticketleap.com/2019-house-decorating-contest/
The entry deadline is 9 a.m., Monday, Oct. 28th.

The board will vote for the best-decorated house after 5 p.m., Oct. 29.

The winner will be announced at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Mannina’s Wine House and displayed on the chamber’s Facebook page. In addition to cash, the winner will also receive a lawn sign to display on Halloween night.

Jim Bloch is an award-winning freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. He writes about the environment, local politics, art, music, history and culture. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com.

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