Halloween is fast approaching, which means downtown Seymour soon will be the destination for ghouls, goblins, witches, fairy princesses, superheroes and many other costumed characters.

Seymour Main Street’s 11th annual Downtown Trick or Treat and Seymour Evening Lions Club’s 51st Halloween parade and costume contest are scheduled for Monday.

Parents can bring their children trick-or-treating at more than 30 downtown businesses from 4 to 6 p.m. All children should be accompanied by an adult. Participating businesses will have signs in their windows.

Last year’s event attracted more than 1,500 children and adults. The year before, there were about 1,200.

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“I think this event is so popular because it brings families out together for a fun, safe time,” said Becky Schepman, Seymour Main Street’s executive director. “There are not always a lot of family activities available, and this is something that the whole family can enjoy.”

New this year is a scarecrow contest featuring more than 20 different scarecrows created by downtown merchants. People can vote on their favorite scarecrow by visiting the business and filling out a ballot. The winning scarecrow will be announced on Halloween.

“I am most excited about seeing the kids dressed up and the kids getting to see the scarecrows,” Schepman said. “I am so impressed with the amount of businesses that participated in the scarecrow stroll this year since it was a first-time event.

“The amount of participation we had and the amount of effort that the businesses put into it makes my heart smile,” she added. “It shows that the downtown has a sense of camaraderie and pride.”

After trick-or-treating, kids and adults can show off their costumes by marching through downtown in the parade and then participating in the costume contest.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the post office at Fourth and Chestnut streets and will make its way to the American Legion Annex parking lot on Second Street.

The Seymour High School Marching Owls will lead the parade with students dressing up and playing spooky tunes.

Costumes will be judged after the parade by age group and categories, including best pet costume, best group of three and best SHS band member.

Prizes will be awarded in each group and category, and candy will be available to all contestants, said Lions member Jerry Roberts, chairman of the parade and costume contest.

Roberts said he isn’t sure who started the parade or if there ever was a purpose besides just having fun.

“I think they just felt like it was needed for this time of year for the kids in the community to have something free and fun to do,” he said.

The parade has grown over the years and attracts close to 1,000 people now, he said.

“It’s been pretty big, especially since the downtown merchants added their trick-or-treating,” he said.

Roberts said the number of kids who participate doesn’t really surprise him.

“Most kids have Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating,” he said.

His favorite costumes are those that are homemade, he said.

“I like the kids that come as cereal boxes or something else they’ve come up with,” he said.

If you go

What: Seymour Main Street Downtown Trick or Treat and Seymour Evening Lions Club Halloween parade and costume contest

When: Downtown Trick or Treat is from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday; the parade follows at 6 p.m., and the costume contest is after the parade

Where: Downtown Trick or Treat is at participating downtown Seymour businesses; the parade steps off from the area of the post office at Fourth and Chestnut streets and ends at the American Legion Annex at Pine and Second streets

Cost: Free

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.