By Bob Gross
ST. CLAIR – Three-year-old Easton Gauron was dressed like a construction worker, from his dump truck body and yellow safety vest to hard hat helmet.
“We’re here for trick-or-treating,” said his mother, Kelly Gauron. “I think it’s great. We’ve come every year.”
St. Clair was having a Halloween Party for Tots on Wednesday at the Riverview Plaza Park. It was one of the final events of what amounts to a month-long Halloween celebration in the city.
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“This is our fourth year,” Bryan Ulatowski said. He’s president of the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce and owner of The Wellington Financial.
The reason for the celebration, he said, is “to get the community involved and have some fun.”
Kids and their parents were trick-or-treating Wednesday at the plaza, collecting candy from merchants and businesses. They were also playing games and enjoying rides in a mini-train.
“We just get great participation, and to see all the kids out here, it’s well worth it,” Ulatowski said.
He said the event has grown from a couple of days centered on the plaza to nearly a month’s worth of activities throughout the city. At 6 p.m. Thursday, for example, the event will feature a Halloween Costume Parade followed by a showing of the movie, “Casper the Friendly Ghost” in the plaza.
“We’ve got the homecoming parade route,” Ulatowski said. “We’re closing down Vine and we’re closing down M-29.”
He said about 25 local businesses sponsor the Halloween event, which includes a yard decorating contest.
The winner of the contest, who will receive $250, will be announced at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 during the Wicked Wine Down at Mannina’s Wine House in the plaza.
“We opened it up (to include people who don’t live in St. Clair,) “ Ulatowski said. “If you are willing to sign up for it, we’re willing to drive by your place and judge.”
He said about 17 homes have been registered for the contest. People can sign up for the contest until the judging on Monday at www.stclairhalloweekend.com.
John and Desiree’ Shell were with their daughter, Norah, who is 18 months, at the toddlers’ party. They were dressed as sharks.
“We’re here just to hang out with the family,” John Shell said.
Halloweekend events include the costume parade at 6 p.m. Thursday followed by a showing of “Casper the Friendly Ghost” at dusk and Broomstick Beer Flights at War Water Brewery in the plaza; carriage rides from 5-9 p.m. Friday at The Wellington Financial and Freaky Films and Food at 7 p.m. at Anchor Point Bistro; Sunday Bloody Sunday Bloody Mary bar at Drifters in the plaza; and the Wicked Wine Down at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Mannina’s Wine House.
Bob Gross has been a journalist for 40 years in Michigan and Wyoming. He has covered subjects ranging from agriculture to zoology. He most recently covered courts and police for the Port Huron Times Herald.