Halloween fest Sunday features pumpkin roll
AMHERST — A first-ever pumpkin roll competition between children and adults will be included in the annual Halloween Fest activities in downtown Sunday afternoon.
Organized by Leisure Services and Supplemental Education, the event begins with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses at 11:45 a.m., continues with the inaugural pumpkin roll in the Main Street parking lot at the North Common at 12:45 p.m. and a costume parade through downtown at 1:30 p.m., and concludes with a variety of games, performances and refreshments at the Bangs Community Center.
LSSE Director Linda Chalfant said the Halloween Fest carnival, which will run until 4:30 p.m. at the Bangs Community Center on Boltwood Walk, will feature a haunted house, arts and crafts, live music and a performances by Pineapple Dance’s Electric Boys.
“Our goal is to give out a lot of prizes, candy and toys and get a lot of smiles in return,” Chalfant said.
Chalfant said the carnival is free, but tickets at 25 cents apiece, are sold for some of the activities to defray the costs. The event depends on volunteers, including students from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College and Hampshire College, Chalfant said, as well as support from businesses, which have donated raffle prizes.
There will also be refreshments sold, including pizza from Domino’s.
Throughout the day, children can ride on the Roaming Railroad for a small fee.
Tammy-Lynn Chace, membership and events manager for Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, said more than 20 businesses will be handing out candy from their stores.
Elementary school children will get trick-or-treat bags later this week with a list of all the participating businesses and a raffle card that they can turn in at the Bangs after trick or treating.
Bags can also be picked up at the Chamber and the Bangs Community Center the morning of the trick or treating.
The pumpkin roll is an idea from the Amherst Business Improvement District. People can bring pumpkins from home to roll down the paved lot, and additional pumpkins will also be available for purchase at the site.
The costume parade will leave North Common, getting a police escort along North Pleasant Street, to Kellogg Avenue and into the Bangs Community Center.