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Children have one word for Halloween - Sweet

November 01, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

WILLIAMSPORT - News flash: Kids like Halloween because they get lots of candy.

At least, that was the consensus Friday night in Williamsport.

Six-year-old Reese Sharff, who was dressed as a cheerleader in a red-and-white uniform, was explaining that she liked Halloween because of trick-or-treating and eating candy when her stepbrother interrupted.

"That's what I'm doing right now, eating candy," said Nathan Myers, 6, who dressed as a ninja for the occasion.

Juliette Bragunier, 2, was an Oompa Loompa sporting bright green hair and being carried by her father, who dressed as Willy Wonka in a purple coat and facepaint.

Juliette smiled wide and shook her trick-or-treat bag when asked what she liked about Halloween.

"She likes Halloween candy," Scott Bragunier said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department closed a block of Conococheague Street to traffic for a few hours Friday night as Williamsport's downtown merchants hosted a trick-or-treat complete with games and hayrides.

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Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," the Michelin Man, miniature super heroes and all the requisite witches, ghosts and goblins wandered up and down the street collecting candy.

Pirates, devils and what could only be described as a giant silver robot also made appearances.

Alexis Ridenour, 6, was trick-or-treating as Cleopatra in an elaborate gold dress and black eye makeup. She wanted to be Cleopatra, "because she's pretty," Alexis said

Carolyn Atha lives on Conococheague Street, and said she thought closing a block was a good idea. "Then children won't get run over," she said as she dropped lollipops into trick-or-treat bags held by two little princesses.

Williamsport Mayor James G. McCleaf II called the evening an "overwhelming success."

This is the first year downtown merchants got together to host the mini-festival, and they deserve the credit, he said.

Parents appreciated the effort.

Bragunier thought shutting down the street was a great thing, he said. His family told several people who weren't sure where to trick-or-treat to head to Williamsport, Bragunier said.

Rose Harris, of the Desert Rose Cafe, was passing out candy in front of her store.

The downtown merchants are, "trying to build a sense of community in Williamsport," she said. Shutting down the street helped make the night a lot safer, and Friday night turned out to have, "perfect weather, perfect people. Everybody is having a blast," she said.

Hayrides took people past Riverview Cemetery, where gypsies were hanging around a cauldron.

A shadowy figure could be seen at the top of the cemetery's ridge near the flagpole. Apparently, she was the lady in the black veil, who allegedly haunts Williamsport looking for her husband, one of the gypsies said.

Toward the end of the evening, a tiny police officer was being carried by a grownup, and a pint-size doctor in green scrubs sat in a woman's lap sucking on a pacifier.

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