Spooky family fun in downtown Milford

Lots of little trick-or-treaters participated in Hall-O-Weekend events Sunday.

Lots of little trick-or-treaters participated in Hall-O-Weekend events Sunday.

Milford’s Annual Hall-O-Weekend was held Sunday, with residents of all ages joining the family fun festivities and some not-so-scary Halloween activities in the downtown Milford business district.

“Halloween and New England go hand in hand,” said Tracy Bonosconi, business association president. “Downtown is such a wonderful resource to bring families together and to make memories that last a lifetime.”

Participating shops throughout the downtown area opened their doors to trick-or-treaters during Sunday’s event, held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., not-so-scary story time was held at the Milford Public Library, music was played by radio personality Brian Smith, a creepy-crawly mystery touch table added to the enjoyment in the store called Duck Duck Goose, costume contests for humans and pets of all ages were held, numerous vendors provided a Fall Marketplace, food trucks offered ghoulish cuisine and Stop & Shop of Milford provided healthy snacks.

The windows of many retailers and restaurants on River and Broad Streets were decorated and painted from top to bottom by Platt Technical High School students on Oct. 19. Visitors were encouraged to take a Hall-O-Ween Stroll Sunday and vote for their favorite “Best Window Decoration.”

New this year, the business association teamed with the city’s Green Halloween initiative - a campaign designed to promote sustainability. The city gave free reusable grocery bags away during the event in conjunction with the Milford Environmental Protection Initiative. Additionally, Duck Duck Goose Children’s Boutique featured a green-themed Halloween window display.

“The creepy-crawly table consists of spaghetti and eyeball soup and we work our way around onto hearts and livers and a dash of brains, hair and finger nails,” said Duck Duck Goose Children’s Boutique Owner Yvonne Stobie. “It’s one of the funniest things I do all year. The kids reach into different boxes and try to figure out which of the ingredients is in that box while I’m stirring my eye ball soup.”

“I volunteered to be the store with the green theme because I’m an eco-friendly store,” said Stobie. “The theme of my store is being green, thinking green and having a greener lifestyle so it was a good fit - we even have green pumpkins. Our green store windows look very cute.”

The Green Halloween Initiative run by the City of Milford “is dedicated to sustainability and good environmental practices,” said Karen Fortunati, chair of the initiative. “We partnered with ShopRite, Stop & Shop and Adams Hometown Market - this whole week these stores are going single use bag free. It’s at a significant cost to them, the city is providing 500 reusable grocery totes per store, made possible through a generous grant from an environmental organization here in Milford called the Milford Environmental Protection Initiative. The stores are also using paper and a more eco-friendly reusable plastic tote which can be used numerous times. Our schools are doing programming this week with a recycling theme, and the public library has done a sustainable story time this past week, focused on recycling and being good to the earth.” Email: karenfortunati@gmail.com for more information.

Hall-O-Weekend 2018 was sponsored for the third consecutive year by the Downtown Milford Business Association, whose mission is to, “bring attention to our beautiful downtown with all its unique amenities inviting you to shop, dine and play.” The association’s membership consists of approximately 120 businesses which include retail, services, and restaurants committed to working together to create a strong and viable downtown. Hall-O-Weekend was postponed Saturday because of the weather and was rescheduled to Sunday.