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Plenty of treats amidst the rain

WILKES-BARRE – Despite the rainy weather, families celebrated Halloween downtown Sunday afternoon at the city’s annual Trick or Treating event.

Hosted by the City of Wilkes-Barre, Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association and Diamond City Partnership, the trick or treat trail wrapped half-way around Public Square and extended by down South Main Street. South Main Street, between East Northampton Street, and Public Square were blocked off to traffic so families could safely navigate the stops along way.

Dozens of local businesses, nonprofits and organizations participated in the annual tradition, but according to Colleen Phillips of the Wilkes-Barre Business Association, some of the usual vendors were unable to set up due to the weather.

“There’s still a number of vendors that showed up despite this weather and are making the best of it,” she said.

For Destiny Seville, of Wilkes-Barre, and her son, Ballamy, 3, the loss of some vendors was disappointing.

“We kind of went around to everything,” she said. “It’s been nice, but it was bigger last year.”

Megan Valkerburg, community engagement manager for the United Way, said she barely noticed the weather and the kids didn’t seem too bothered by it either.

“We had 6 or 700 art kits to give away and those are gone,” Valkerburg said.

Instead of the usual sweet treats you’d expect to find at a Halloween event, The United Way instead focused on feeding children’s imagination with books, art supplies and pencil cases.

“We know how important it is to get books into the hands of kids,” she said. “They go crazy for it.”

Elizabeth, of Edwardsville, who declined to give her last name, didn’t let the rain deter her and her daughter, Eliza, 6, from dressing up and getting some candy.

“I went to it last year and it was really nice to I thought we’d try it again this year,” Elizabeth said.

She added, “”It’s for the kids so, why not? It’s either this or sit in the house and have her stare at the TV.”

Among first time vendors was the Order Alhambra Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to assisting persons with intellectual disabilities.

“We got very low on candy, but we got replenishments so we think it’s a great turnout,” said Supreme Director Ada Magni, who was impressed by the volume of kids.

“The weather didn’t seem to dampen people’s spirits, I don’t think.”