Children and families took to the streets of Tinley Park for an early chance to get into the Halloween Spirit during the Village’s annual Downtown Tinley Kiddie Boo Bash Oct. 29.
With games, crafts and live animals, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
“All the events in the downtown are for the community,” said Donna Framke, marketing manager for the Village of Tinley Park. “[I] love the idea of all the families coming out and enjoying.”
A number of area businesses ran booths where they could pass out candy to trick-or-treaters.
Framke said it is a family-centered event.
“It almost reminds me a little of how you were little and you had the fun fairs at school,” Framke said. “It’s kind of a blend of that and trick-or-treating, and then entertainment, too, but all in our really cool downtown setting, which we’re very happy about.”
A DJ was on hand to entertain the crowds with music. Concessions and beverages were also available throughout the event for people to purchase.
Grace Hernandez stood at a table enjoying some pizza with her children.
“They’ve been asking me every day to go,” she said. “They don’t want to leave.”
This year was not Hernandez’s first time attending the Downtown Tinley Kiddie Boo Bash. Despite that, she said she was surprised by an unexpected festival-goer.
“There was a giant guy dressed up [like a beast,]” she said.
Hernandez said her children’s favorite part was obvious: the candy.
“We try to stay in touch with our community by asking them what they like,” Framke said. “Some of the things do come back year after year, like these carriages. [They] are very popular.”
Volunteers on board the horse-drawn carriages shared scary stories with children and families who decided to take a ride.
Every year, attendees find new attractions at the Downtown Tinley Kiddie Boo Bash. One of the new activities this year was a magic show.
“These type of events wouldn’t happen without the benefit of some great volunteers who are standing by the games, greeting people when they walked in, or helping out with the businesses,” Framke said.
Many attendees donned costumes during the event to get into the Halloween Spirit. The Downtown Tinley Kiddie Boo Bash featured a costume contest, with entrants signed up to compete in one of five categories. Prizes were awarded to participants for having the scariest, cutest, best homemade, best baby and family/group costumes.
“What I think is that people have that creativity,” Framke said. “It really is [huge] for this type of thing.”
Jen Burch dropped in for the Downtown Tinley Kiddie Boo Bash with her husband, Steve, and their kids, Jackson, Brooks and Easton. The children came dressed as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and an elf.
“It’s something to do with the kids,” she said. “We grew up in Tinley.”
Steve said the event served as a great way to celebrate Halloween ahead of time, “especially when it falls during the week.”
“My kids love it,” Jen agreed. “We love it.”
The Burch children were signed up to compete in the costume contest, just as they had in years past.
“I’m planning on winning,” Jen said. “This will be our sixth year in a row, if we win. I’m a little competitive, but if they don’t [win, it’s] no big deal.”