By Jessica Isaacs
Photos by Ken Ketchie
Comfortable late fall temperatures made for a delightful Halloween experience on Monday afternoon at the town’s annual Boone BOO! celebration.
The fun began with arts, crafts and games at the Watauga Library on Queen Street and a costume parade led to spooky tours of the Jones House on King Street, which was closed to all vehicle traffic during the festivities, and trick-or-treating with downtown businesses.
“We had wonderful participation,” said Pilar Fotta, director of cultural resources for the Town of Boone. “We heard lots of very positive feedback about closing the streets and about how much people love that we have this kind of community event.”
Following tradition, athletic teams from Appalachian State University were there to join in the celebration.
“We are always so thrilled to have ASU join us for all of our events and they showed up in force. We had the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the volleyball team and the men’s soccer team,” Fotta said. “The soccer team created a wonderful fun tunnel for the kids to come through and high-five all the members of the soccer team. They went out of their way to engage with the community and participate and they were so much fun.”
Fotta said the Boone BOO! would not have been successful without the help of local heroes and town employees.
“I would say this was one of our bigger crowds. Weather certainly plays a part in that, but the streets were packed from start to end,” she said. “We couldn’t have done any of that without the help of our public works and our police department.”
Virginia Falck, downtown Boone development coordinator, said 45 or more businesses in the downtown area participated in trick-or-treating with the kids and families.
“The businesses are always very attentive and excited to participate. As soon as I started sending out emails in September, I got a lot of quick responses indicating they wanted to participate,” she said. “A lot of the businesses will decorate their windows or have things to pass out that are indicative of their businesses. Speakeasy Tattoo passed out temporary tattoos.
“I got to walk around this year and all the businesses seemed to have a really good time. We couldn’t do Boone BOO! without them. There are a lot of activities at the library and the Jones House, but the kids really love trick-or-treating downtown. It wouldn’t be the Boone BOO! without the merchant participation.”