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Trunk or Treat 10/27/17 (copy)

People make their way along Broadway Avenue during the inaugural Celebrate Downtown Mattoon Trunk or Treat Festival on Oct. 27, 2017.

MATTOON -- Costume contests, carnival games, live music, food vendors and lots of candy will be offered Friday evening during the second annual Celebrate Downtown Mattoon Trunk or Treat Festival.

The festivities also will include "Legends & Lore of Coles County" presentations about local ghost stories, talks that are set for 5 and 6 p.m. Friday in the Lone Elm Room at the train depot, 1718 Broadway Ave. Planning committee member Sarah Dowell said preparations for this year's festival, set for 5-8 p.m. Friday, began in August.

"There are a dozen plus business, organizations and individuals who have pulled together to plan this," Dowell said.

Dowell said more than 35 participants have registered to hand out candy on a section of Broadway between 15th and 17th streets that will be closed to traffic. She said the first festival was well attended, so each registrant has been advised to stock candy for 1,000 children this year.

Contests will be held for the best decorated trunks and downtown storefronts, Dowell said. She added that some of the trunks with announced decorating themes include Broadway Christian Church, superheroes; The Haven, "Elsa's Frozen Castle; and Manpower, "Wizard of Oz."

Costumed children and families are invited to take part in a costume contest with a photo booth at 7 p.m. at the K.C. Summers dealership's Toyota showroom along Broadway, west of 19th Street. Children can get zombie and ghoul face paint that night at Seven salon, 1516 Broadway. In addition, DeBuhr"s Feed & Seed will host a pet costume contest with photos at 5-7 p.m. at Shore's Jewelry, 1614 Broadway Ave.

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Festivities also will be held in other sections of downtown. Dowell said Sound Source Music performance bands will play at Heritage Park and carnival games will be offered across the street in the Progress Square parking lot. 

The Mattoon High School Wavettes, Mattoon Middle School Purrfections, and Mattoon Academy dance teams will perform in the new First Mid Insurance parking lot, on the south side of Broadway between 15th and 16th. The Mattoon Public Library plans to hold Family Fright Night crafts and story telling that night, as well.

Dowell said food vendors Don Sol Mexican Grill, Kep's Cooking, Lil' Orbits Mini Donuts, Kim's Kettle Corn, and Smoky's House BBQ will be spread out along Broadway during the festival. She festivalgoers are also invited to dine at downtown restaurants and visit shops there that are open late for the event.

Becky Castillo, who researches local ghost stories, will present the "Legends & Lore of Coles County" talks at the depot. Castillo said the talks will draw from her personal experiences working in the former Charleston Memorial Hospital and leading paranormal investigations there, and from stories out of author Michael Kleen's "Tales of Coles County, Ill."

"We could not do the presentation without mentioning Ashmore Estates and Pemberton Hall," Castillo said of these favorite local ghost story sites. She said the talks will feature new photos of local haunted sites by Jamie Beals of Lunar Creations.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @RobStroud

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