BANGOR, Maine — Trick-or-treaters in Downtown Bangor Saturday afternoon and evening beware — a horde of imitation undead will stumble down Main Street while you’re filling your bags with candy.
More than 20 downtown businesses will open their doors to young trick-or-treaters from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, an annual event sponsored by the Downtown Bangor Partnership.
“It is a positive and safe way for families to come out and enjoy the downtown,” said George Kinghorn, president of the Downtown Bangor Partnership and director of the University of Maine Museum of Art.
The event started three years ago as a way to give kids a fun, safe place to trick-or-treat during daylight hours. Last year, about 400 children took part, according to Kinghorn.
Halfway through the trick-or-treating event, however, the Bangor Zombie Walk will begin on Railroad Street. Starting at 4 p.m. the mass of not-so-undead will proceed down Main Street, then loop through the downtown area before ending at the Sea Dog on the waterfront about two hours later, according to an event posting on the Bangor Daily News website.
A few concerned parents have contacted the Bangor Daily News in the past week, saying they hadn’t been aware that the two events overlapped and children might be frightened by the sight of people dressed in tattered clothing and smeared in artificial blood walking the streets acting like zombies.
Kinghorn said he wasn’t aware of the Zombie Walk or the fact that the two events are overlapping.
“I don’t see it to be a major concern,” he said. “It’s Halloween.”
Philip Smith, organizer of the Zombie Walk, said he knew the trick-or-treat event would be going on at the same time, but that he hopes his event will only serve to add to the enjoyment of the day.
“I am aware of the overlap, as it happened last year as well, with little to no problems,” Smith said Thursday.
The zombie group, which held a similar walk last year, announced on Oct. 13 that it had received permits for the Oct. 27 walk.
Kinghorn said parents concerned that their children might be frightened by the sight of zombies shouldn’t be discouraged from going trick-or-treating downtown. Rather, he said, they might want to explain that some people like to dress and act like ghouls on Halloween and that it’s all part of the fun.
“We are a group just looking to put some spook back into Halloween,” Smith said. “After all, this is the home to Stephen King, right? I can see where parents are coming from though.”
“I hope the parents understand, and we can both have a little fun this Saturday,” Smith said.