More than 2,000 members of the Auburn community turned out on Tuesday night for the 17th annual Downtown Trick or Treat.
A Taco Mama ghost haunted the streets with her bucket full of candy, and a small blond boy dressed as a firefighter tottered down the street with his plastic pumpkin container clinking with the candy inside of it.
Adults, students, children and dogs could be seen decked out in everything from “Grey's Anatomy” inspired scrubs to minion costumes – even left shark made an appearance once or twice, swimming between shops.
More than 20 local businesses, known on Halloween as the “monster merchants,” had tables set up outside their outside storefronts. Owners and employees dressed up and passed out candy to guests who roamed Magnolia and College streets Tuesday night.
The event is a joint effort of the City of Auburn Parks and Recreation Department, as well as local community partners.
Whitney Morris, who has been with the City of Auburn Parks and Recreation Department since December 2016, is the Aquatics and Special Events Coordinator. She donned a bright yellow banana costume and handed out prizes for the costume contest.
"It really is a community-wide event," Morris said. "It’s a great place to take your kids trick or treating without having to worry about the streets being closed. Not only is it a fun environment, but it’s a safe environment."
The lines of people in costumes wrapped from the intersection of Magnolia and Gay streets up to Toomer’s Corner.
DJ ZZ provided musical entertainment, attempting to entice the crowd into a few group dances, such as the costume Cupid shuffle at Toomer’s corner prior to the costume contest.
The three little pigs and the big bad wolf, the tin man, lion and scarecrow, and the Marvel kids of the past were among the top three competitors in the Best Dressed Group Category.
The Best Dressed Individual category awarded an Egyptian queen, Captain Jack Sparrow and a lovely Snow White, while the Best Original Costume prizes went to Oscar the Grouch, Humpty Dumpty and a creative character from Minecraft.
The cutest category, Best Dressed Pet, saw the victories of Ton Ton from Star Wars, a mini Auburn football team and a colorful butterfly.
The pups were not the only pets present, however. The Auburn Raptor Center made a special appearance with nine bird friends who greeted the community with a few squawks and some flaps of their wings.
Morris said that the event is one of her personal favorites, and though it comprises much hard work, the effort put in was well worth the turnout and enjoyment from the community.
“We work hard to include the downtown merchants to make sure that we cover all the bases when it comes to the downtown trick or treat ... It is a nice thing to have and it’s just fun for everybody."
"This is a great turnout, and we are grateful to the City of Auburn for putting this on in downtown each year,” said Jessica Kohn, the downtown coordinator for the City of Auburn.