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Count on costumed candy-questing for Old Colorado City's annual Safe Treats Oct. 31

      
A ring toss game was one of several activities in the Old Town Plaza parking lot during the 2015 Safe Treats.
Westside Pioneer file photo
For decades, Old Colorado City has been a “go-to” place for daytime trick-or- treating on Halloween day, and that's not about to change in 2016.
       Up to 2,000 costumed youngsters (not to mention adults) are likely to throng the avenue Monday, Oct. 31 between 24th and 27th streets, in quest of candy.
       Making the gathering less of a free-for-all is a group of volunteers (the "Boo Crew") - led by Lori Kasten, an Old Colorado City accountant - that organizes it every year as “Safe Treats,” with time parameters of 2 to 4:30 p.m.
      
This was a scene from the Old Colorado City Foundation's Haunted House at 2324 W. Colorado Ave. (normally the Old Colorado City Associates Welcome Center) on Halloween in 2015. It will be open Monday, Oct. 31 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. during Safe Treats. People are welcome to walk through the front door and then out the back. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Westside Pioneer file photo
The "crew" works with Coronado High School students and local businesses, setting up decorations and activities in Old Town Plaza, helping out shop owners as needed, acting as crossing guards and overseeing games.
       Along with the plaza, other returning attractions this year are the Haunted House (a short, non-scary transformation of the Welcome Center at 2324 W. Colorado Ave., offered by the Old Colorado City Foundation with no admission fee), the Coronado robotics team (operating one robot at the plaza and the other at the Haunted House) and several roaming mascots (including Sox the Fox and the Texas Roadhouse's armadillo).
       Kasten is aware that roughly a quarter of the merchants - feeling overwhelmed or unable to afford candy costs that can rise into hundreds of dollars - just close down for the afternoon. On the other hand, most merchants get into it, often in costume themselves, as they or their employees distribute candy outside their shops.
       Kasten believes that overall the event nurtures a “warm-hearted” public attitude toward Old Colorado City. Having worked the event for 23 years now, she enjoys being able to help make it a safe and festive occasion and seeing the pleasure kids get from showing off their costumes. "It's a chance to give back a little bit,” Kasten said. “It's a good feeling.”
       Safe Treats also culminates the month-long Scarecrow Days in Old Colorado City, during which participating merchants construct original creations for judging, which will take place earlier on Halloween day. Cash prizes will go to the winners.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 10/20/16; Business: Events)

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