Ghouls, goblins, ghosts and goons gathered in the Boneyfiddle district this past Saturday to celebrate Falloween.
Sponsored by Main Street Portsmouth (MSP), Falloween provides the community with safe and spooky fun.
“This is one of our most popular events that only grows” explained Main Street Portsmouth’s Executive Director, Joseph Pratt. “This year we welcomed 500 people in the downtown for the many activities, and an additional 100 later that evening for ghost tours. I love when we can bring that many people downtown. I even heard my favorite phrase, which is ‘This place is really cool; I’m going to have to stop back by later.’”
The afternoon began with a costume contest at Packrats antiques, followed by trick-or-treating through Second and Market Streets.
But the event wasn’t just for people, pets joined their human counterparts to participate in a ‘Spooky Pooch’ parade showing off their costumes to the community.
Main Street Portsmouth also got to premiere their new trackless trains, providing guests with transportation up and down the district.
“This was the first time we’ve utilized one of our trains donated by the Lindley Family. We have had over 30,000 people express interest and we’ve had so much chatter. It was exciting to see so many people embracing the new rides and asking about future opportunities to see downtown in its cars,” Pratt said. “We had over 500 people ride the train over the course of three hours, many returning again and again.”
With every event, surprises can happen. Sometimes, unexpectedly, things can also correct quickly.
“Once again, Portsmouth showed me how great it is,” Pratt said. “As soon as we pulled the new train out, which had a growing line of kids, a tire went flat and came loose from the wheel. We had so many upset kids. Two of the guests, Jeremiah and Jack Pistole, helped me quickly break apart the cars and remove the one with a damaged wheel. They told me to start the rides, while they carried it to Market Street Hardware to fix it. Within 15 minutes they were bringing it back and we had a complete train again. These heroes made the day of about 500 guests.”
Pratt said that he has heard positive reception for the haunted tour, which was taken over by local Sharon Bender this year.
“I’ve heard a lot of great things about the theatrics Sharon put into the tour. I’ve already heard it was an improvement from last year, even if it was shorter. Sharon has been messaging me since Saturday night, talking about various ideas to grow on it next year and make it only longer, but even better. We have so many old tales to tell in Boneyfiddle,” said Pratt.
City Manager Derek Allen along with other organizations arranged to bring in a variety of vehicles for children to explore and learn about during the popular ‘touch-a-truck,’ event.
“It was a really nice event,” said visitor Josh Cassill. Cassill brought his two-year old son Thomas to the events. “All the business owners were very friendly to the kids. Thomas particularly enjoyed getting to climb up on the tractors, sitting in the drivers seat of the police car and riding the train on Market Street.”
In addition to the hay rides, face painting and other arts and crafts that took place, Life Point church set up a screen and hosted a showing of Hotel Transylvania for children and their families.
For more information about Main Street Portsmouth, you can follow them on Facebook by searching, “Main Street Portsmouth.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.