Last Monday, around 5 p.m, townspeople began converging along a two-block section of Elkhorn Avenue in Estes Park to celebrate Halloween. The temperature was unseasonably mild, and the energy of the celebrants was high. Many of them, children and adults alike, were wearing costumes. Among which were the to-be-expected witches, goblins and ghosts and a scattering of dinosaurs, pirates and animals. Roaming about, they reveled about the good fortune of the summer, while reconnecting with friends (if they could recognize them behind masks and makeup).
Police Detective Jen Morrow and her colleagues handled street safety for Estes Park’s Halloween celebration. (Wendy Koenig/Courtesy photo)
The much-beloved tradition of children celebrating Halloween downtown, rather than going house-to-house is a likely result of the Estes area’s unique lay out. With houses here, other than in the small neighborhoods such as the Reclamation area, spaced too far apart for children to easily and safely run from house-to-house to do tricks and gather treats.
The celebration takes a lot of work to successfully ensure that attendees receive treats, have fun and stay safe. Making this happen involves the collective efforts of several organizations including the Estes Park Chamber of Commerce, Fire Department, Park Hospital District, and Town—Police Department, Police Auxiliary, and Streets Department.
Many people were essential parts of the collective effort. Among them, was Carissa McGill, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Carissa engaged the Estes Park Trolleys, and the Bull Pen to participate, and worked with the local churches that provided free hot dogs, chili and hot chocolate to trick or treaters. There were also the workers at Safeway and Dollar General that collected the candy the businesses handed out to trick or treaters. The staff of the Streets Department set up and removed the traffic control equipment, and handed out candy from the bucket truck. Detective Jen Morrow directed the safety efforts of the Police Department, including overseeing the set up and staffing of the no car perimeter and the auxiliary who staffed the crosswalks.
Park Hospital Ambulance provided a spooky walk through for children and adults to receive candy. (Wendy Koenig/Courtesy photo)
Jen, who came to Estes Park from Jacksonville, Florida, offered up that, “This is the coolest event ever!” Well Jen, I, and everyone who was downtown last Monday, all agree. And we also agree that the Halloween celebration is just one of many reasons why Estes Park is terrific place to live, work and play.