BANGOR, Maine — Ghosts, ghouls and goblins along with witches, warlocks, vampires and princesses invaded the city a day early to haunt the Civic Center and Auditorium and downtown shops.
United Cerebral Palsy of Northeastern Maine sponsored its eighth Halloween-themed fundraiser Saturday in Bass Park. The event included face painting, a bounce house, a photo booth, a hayride and, of course, trick-or-treating.
In addition to those activities, local organizations offered information to adults and candy to children, most of whom dressed in costumes.
The Downtown Bangor Partnership for the first time sponsored events Saturday afternoon and evening that included trick-or-treating at businesses, a concert in Pickering Square, costumed dinners at restaurants and a haunted music studio. In addition to those activities, the Bangor Fire Department held an open house at the Main Street station.
Pam Tzovarras of Hampden brought her 3-year-old twin daughters to the Bangor Auditorium for the Pumpkins in the Park event for the first time.
“This was great because if it’s cold on Halloween, we may not be able to stay out very long,” she said. “I really want to commend all the volunteers who are here. I reconnected with the Mothers of Twins Network, which I’d forgotten about.”
Emma Tzovarras, who sported a bright red heart on her right cheek, and Natalie “Noodles” Tzovarras, who wore a flower on hers, dressed as “little witches,” their mother said.
“Their favorite thing was getting candy,” Pam Tzovarras said.
The mission of UCP is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities who have multiple needs, according to information on the group’s website.
“This is our biggest fundraiser,” Trish Pendergast, resource development coordinator for the organization, said Saturday. “Last year, we had about 2,400 people come through and it looks like we will break that this year.”
She said the group serves about 1,500 clients a year in seven counties in northern and eastern Maine.
Don Flanders, finance and operations manager for the Maine Discovery Museum, said Saturday that the Halloween event brought in more people than the downtown New Year’s Eve party the museum has participated in for several years.
“We had reduced admissions [fees] until 3 p.m., which brought in about 150 people,” he said as costumed children lined up to have treats dropped in their bags. “At 3 p.m., when trick-or-treating started, it just exploded. We’ve had more than 300 in the first hour.”
Judy Fricke, dressed as Mother Goose, handed out candy in front of Main Street Music Studios. Instead of reciting rhymes, she told parents about the studio’s offerings for children.
“This is wonderful for the kids,” said Ben Aldrich, who teaches clarinet and saxophone at the studio. “It’s also a great opportunity for us to meet with parents and tell them about the classes we offer.”
Main Street Music Studios also set up a musical haunted house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Lindsay Rowell and Chris Powers, both of Bangor, brought their son Jaden Powers, 5, who dressed as the grim reaper, to do some trick-or-treating downtown Saturday.
“With Halloween being on a Sunday this year, this allows them to go out in the daytime, so they aren’t out so late,” Chris Powers said.
“I think it’s safer going to businesses rather than to random houses,” Rowell said as she bought her son a hot cider to help him warm up at the Antique Marketplace & Cafe. “It really is a good community thing.”