Emily Roldan with her 2-year-old niece Gabi Acevedo watch a magic trick performed by Bing-a-loo of Uptown Clowns, a group affiliated with the city of Largo.
LARGO – Even early in the day, Largo Central Park filled with costumed children and families ready for treats and fun at the 18th annual Halloween Spooktacular Oct. 27.
Largo police estimated that about 25,000 people attended this year’s festivities, about the same crowd as last year’s event, said city special events coordinator Jessica Newsome.
The city sold about 3,000 wristbands for the games and activities, she added. Those numbers don’t include the adults at the event or those who came just for the free trick-or-treat trail. A total of 46 local businesses and organizations handed out candy along this year’s trail.
Macho Liberti, a member of the Largo Professional Firefighters union, said the group gave out about 80,000 pieces of candy to the line of trick-or-treaters and eventually ran out.
“It was nonstop,” he said.
This year, Largo started the Spooktacular earlier in the day, at noon rather than 4 p.m. The change seemed to make the whole event safer, Newsome said. It was the first year there were no reported injuries.
“Last year, there were four or five first aid injury calls,” she explained. “There were less dark areas. I think it really did help a lot.”
Newsome said the event came “a little bit” under its budget of $30,000. The city saved about $5,000 by cutting out the need for shuttle buses and lighting.
Newsome said the event is important “to give the kids somewhere safe to be.” Along with the safe environment, the city checks the candy that is given out on the treat trail.