Stillwater News Press

October 30, 2012

Officials estimate 8,000 take part in festival in downtown Stillwater

By Elizabeth Keys
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — “Do you have any brains?” asked Stormy Lett on Tuesday night at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on Main Street during the Red Dirt Zombie Downtown Halloween Festival.

Cassidy Boyer didn’t bat her Cat-in-the-Hat eyes, replying, “No brains tonight, just lots of candy.”

Zombie Lett pouted on the bench, sipping her hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows as she took a break from trick-or-treating.  

“Zombies need brains,” Lett said. “They are squishy and yummy. I love brains.”

The 8-year-old from Morrison came with her mom, April Lett, and both were getting into the theme of the night. Stormy Lett had even studied on how to be a living dead ghoul by reading “1001 Zombie Stories” in her second-grade class.

Zombies and other creatures of the night, along with princesses and superheroes, made their way down Main Street playing games and collecting candy from area merchants. Boyer said the festival was wonderful for Downtown Stillwater because it brings more people to the area to see what’s offered.

The candy, games and bouncy inflatables were popular but crowds swarmed the firefighters from Station No. 1, 1506 S. Main.

“We come every year,” said Battalion Chief Terry Essary.  “It’s great to get out and see all the kids in costumes.”

Firefighters gave out candy and bracelets with the message: “Fire safety starts with me.” Many children enjoyed crawling in a restored fire truck from Firefighter’s Local Union 2095.

“Swinging on the truck and ringing the bell is the best,” said 4-year-old Shay Goodwin, who was disguised as a Pioneer cheerleader. She called out to all her friends to climb onto the fire truck and ring the bell with her yelling “we love candy, lots of candy!”

The fire truck bell was not the only music of the night. Slapout, a local band with Hugh Foley, Derek Mccubbin, Nokose Foley and Sean Kelly, played “Monster Mash” and other Halloween standards, along with their own original scary songs in minor keys.

Volunteers were scattered throughout the streets. Michael Zanfardino, an employee with the city of Stillwater, said he loves to come out every year and have fun.

“We could not do this without our volunteers, sponsors and judges,” said Business Improvement District Coordinator Amy Jo Frazier. “There are over 150 students just from OSU and more from the community putting feet on the streets.”

Frazier said this was the festival’s biggest year with perfect weather. She estimated more than 8,000 people attended.

“We are happy to provide an event that is completely free and bring people downtown to see all the changes,” she said.

Photos of the creatures of the night will be published Sunday in The Stillwater NewsPress. More photos from the newspaper costume photo booth will be available for purchase this weekend on SmugMug by visiting the gallery and reprints section of the newspaper website at www.stwnewspress.com.