Thousands of area residents showed up in costume to trick-or-treat in downtown Sedalia Friday afternoon under sunny and warm, but windy conditions.

Children of all kinds lined up in the historical area on Ohio Avenue between Broadway & Main to take advantage of SDDI (Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc.,) merchants handing out Halloween candy during a two-hour period. South Ohio was closed to through traffic for the occasion, except for 3rd and Ohio, where Officer Overstreet kept a watchful eye on pedestrians and motorists alike and kept everyone safe.

Orange & white plastic barricades blocked off the other intersections on Ohio until a sudden gust of wind here and there would blow some of them over.

Kids (and their parents) tended to travel in a counterclockwise direction from merchant to merchant, patiently waiting their turn to collect free candy doled out to the trick-or-treaters. And a long line developed in the 600 block of S. Ohio, where the Salvation Army was giving out scores of hot dogs (Fred & Wilma Flintstone  were seen grabbing a quick bite to eat there).

The Pettis County Ambulance District (PCAD) and the Pettis County Fire Department occupied part of the 400 block of South Ohio for the popular holiday treat. Pettis County Prosecutor Phillip Sawyer was seen handing out candy at 5th and Ohio. At 2nd & Ohio, ladies from the VFW were greeting the little ones with candy and a smile. And the Addams Family theme could be heard when walking past Wilken Music in the 200 block.

Aaron Hunton, owner of Game Zone, 315 S. Ohio, said he handed out 1,500 comic books until he ran out around 4:45 p.m. Normally, he passes out around 1,000.

The annual event, sponsored by SDDI, was held on the Friday before Halloween this year. The event coincided with Sedalia School District 200's "Certified Work Day." Parent-teacher conferences were held Wednesday & Thursday.

"I do not have a count," said Meg Liston, SDDI executive director. "The way we get counts are the merchants know how many bags of candy they went through. But there were so many more than usual. Our usual count is 2,500 to 3,000, and (Friday), my guess is between 4,000 and 5,000 children were downtown. There were a lot of kids, and all the merchants had enough candy for all of them."

"It was perfect weather, and Sedalia 200 was out for the day, and so that's why we switched it from Monday to Friday afternoon, we just thought it would be easier and we have lots of merchants who are closed on Mondays," Liston noted, "and so it worked out beautifully."

Closing Ohio Avenue to motorized traffic for the event was a positive thing for Liston. "We've been trying to do that lately. It's just too many kids trying to maneuver the stop lights and cars. It's better and we appreciate the City and the (Sedalia) Police Department monitoring all that, too," she said.

The next event for downtown Sedalia is the monthly "Third Thursday," which will be more of an indoor event in November, Liston noted. The event was scheduled to end in October, but merchants are in favor of extending Third Thursday throughout all 12 months. Musical entertainment is always a popular part of that downtown event, she added.

After that, the annual Thanksgiving evening lighting ceremony will be held on the 24th.


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