DOBSON — Large crowds flocked to Dobson Square Park for the second-annual Halloween event held by the town.
Monday evening the town of Dobson held its Spooktacular, and Town Manager Josh Smith estimates thousands turned out for the opportunity to trick-or-treat and play games at the park.
“There’s really no way to gauge, but my best guess is 4,000 to 5,000 people attended,” said Smith. “It was a huge crowd — much larger than last year’s.”
Smith said he looks for the event to only grow with time, as more people get word of the opportunity to celebrate Halloween in a controlled manner.
“Our goal is to get everybody off the streets and into a safe environment,” explained Smith.
While the crowd grew, so, too, did the event itself.
The 2016 Spooktacular, which lasted three hours, included a number of Dobson businesses and groups passing out candy. Inflatables were also available for the entertainment of children, and many children strayed from the Halloween festivities to enjoy some time at the park’s playground.
Salem Baptist Church partnered with the town, setting up about a dozen games on the park premises. Kids could play to earn tickets and redeem their tickets for prizes.
Most importantly, Smith said he believes all who attended — young and old — enjoyed themselves at the Spooktacular. As early as Monday night the town was receiving positive feedback by way of text messages and Facebook posts.
Smith said while October may have showcased the Spooktacular in Dobson, the effects of the park go far beyond candy and games.
“It has been a great thing for the community,” said Smith. “It has really helped everybody come together.”
Smith said it took years of headaches, planning and money from the town’s coffers to make Dobson Square Park happen, but it has been well worth it.
The park officially opened in April of 2015.
“It’s easy to see the costs of the park on paper,” explained Smith. “But the benefits have far outweighed the costs.”
Spooktacular and other events will continue to occur at the park. However, the opportunities for recreation won’t stop with those events.
“We are a small town with big ideas,” remarked Smith.
The next event at the park will occur in early December, when the town holds its annual tree-lighting ceremony.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.