By BONNIE BAILEY
Trick-or-treaters donned rain jackets and carried umbrellas on Saturday, Oct. 28, braving persistent rain to attend Halloween Haunts & Happenings, which began at 2 p.m. in downtown Jonesborough.
The annual event, which was advertised as rain or shine, drew crowds despite the soggy weather. Attendees trick-or-treated at downtown businesses and played games, which were set up at various locations along Main Street, as the rain fell.
“We had a good turnout considering the weather,” Melinda Copp, director of Main Street Jonesborough, said. “It definitely put a damper on things.”
Thanks to the Spooky Pooch Palooza, a new addition to the event, a multitude of furry friends were in attendance with their owners. Dressed in canine costumes, the pups enjoyed doggie-safe Halloween treats, and got a peek into the future courtesy of The Great Fortune Smeller Henry Howldini, who was available for “paw readings.”
The canines also competed in two groups, small dogs and large dogs, for best doggie costume. The dogs were awarded prizes in categories ranging from funniest costume to best dog/owner costume combo.
Bella, a Husky/Chow mix who competed with the group of large dogs, won scariest costume with her Jack O’ Lantern outfit, and her owner, Jonesborough resident Jessica Robinson, was thrilled.
“This was her first time winning,” Robinson said after collecting Bella’s prize.
Bella took part in another costume contest earlier this year, Robinson said, during the 4th of July celebration in Jonesborough, but she wasn’t so lucky in that competition.
“She was a cheerleader,” she said. “She didn’t get to win then, but she won this time.”
Later in the day, both children and adults got the opportunity to show off their costumes on the Food City stage in front of the courthouse. Prizes and gift certificates were awarded to the first, secnd and third place winners in each age group. There was also a category for group costumes.
While attendance was good for how bad the weather was, it was nothing like years past, Copp said, and due to decreasing temperatures in the late afternoon and the continued rain, some scheduled events didn’t take place.
The Flashlight Haunted Egg Hunt, which was meant to start at 7 p.m. at Mill Spring Park, was cancelled, and the showing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which were scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., were cancelled as well.
“We’re hoping to have a bigger turnout next year,” Copp said.
The weather was disappointing, she said, after all the work that went into the event.