Halloween celebration successful

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

It was a little crowded on the Square Thursday night. Those daring enough to brave the goblins and ghouls of Halloween might have been a little overwhelmed when they arrived to find thousands and thousands of people traveling from business to business in their costumes, but the overall reaction has been positive.

"I think it went great," said Sonja Godwin of the Department of Leisure Services. "We've heard a lot of positive comments - not a negative one at all."

The crowding was a factor, and one that only increased after the Andalusia High School's Booster Club bonfire ended, and its participants joined the throng on the Square.

"I think a lot of people had a good time," she said.

"I thought everything went great, with security and all," said Duke Smith, the director at Johnson Park who coordinates the event. "It was the biggest crowd we've had yet. We estimated between 7,500 and 8,000 people showed up."

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams said the evening went off very well.

"It couldn't have been any better," he said. "We had absolutely no reports of anything wrong other than there not being enough candy."

Williams estimated at least 1,000 more in attendance than last year.

Participation was higher in other areas as well, with more pumpkins being entered this year than last year.

The first place winner was the Witch pumpkin, created by Stephanie Bracewell. Riley Watson's Spider pumpkin took second place and Anna Locklier's Double Fun pumpkin took third.

The businesses on the Square also got into the spirit of the day, with more decorations - and more elaborate decorations - appearing by Thursday afternoon. Smith estimates at least 32 merchants participated in the candy distribution, with many of them decorating their storefronts.

"Everybody really dressed the part," said Godwin.

The winner of the business category was Mike Jones' law office, which joined efforts with that of Mark Christiansen. Alaweb, with its staffed well-dressed for the fun, took second place.