LANSING, Mich.—Families from all over the Lansing area packed the streets of Downtown Lansing for Halloween weekend as Trick-or-Treat on the Square returned.
“For Trick-or-Treat on the Square we of course had trick-or-treating with our local businesses, our guests could participate with block [activities like] balloon animals, a photobooth, and fun festive Halloween games,” said Shakayla Zoss, marketing and brand specialist for Downtown Lansing Inc., which hosted the event. “It’s a staple in our community, for sure.”
More than 30 local businesses new and old participated in this year’s event.
“We decided to participate because it’s our first year here Downtown. We wanted to get in with the community,” said Malaya Cedeno, head cook at Veg Head, a vegan restaurant which opened almost exactly a year ago in downtown. According to Cedeno, the event was a good opportunity to bring in new residents who may not have known businesses in downtown are open late.
“If you are going to have a business downtown and it does a wonderful event like this, it is absolutely imperative you participate,” said Jen Estill, owner of Nelson Gallery. “The more people that participate, the better the event becomes and the better a neighborhood becomes.”
Estill also runs RedHead Creative Consultancy in the same building as Nelson Gallery and has a retail gallery on the main floor featuring 13 local artists.
“We had over 2,000 people here tonight, and so many cute kids and families. The weather was gorgeous and we had a great time,” Estill said.
But new businesses were not the only ones seizing the opportunity to bring new faces into their storefronts. Summit Comics and Games, a business located downtown for the last 12 years, was also handing out candy to visitors, but from within the store.
“It’s one thing being outside just passing out candy, but you bring it inside and they come in and say, ‘Oh wow this building is a comic book store,” said Thomas Torrez, manager at Summit Comics and Games. “It wasn’t about selling things. It’s about introducing ourselves and putting out there this is where we’re at.”
Lansing resident Miles, who attended the event with his mother Bianca Chelf and dressed as an inflatable T-rex, said, “I like how everyone was nice and there was no tricks … It shows me how I will [trick-or-treat] on Halloween.”
“I wanted to support the city and give my kid a chance for some free fun,” Chelf said. It was both her and her son Miles’s first time at the event. “It was shared on the [Facebook] events, it worked with our schedule and I like it downtown.”
Downtown Lansing, Inc. is looking forward to hosting the event again next year and continuing to grow along with downtown.
“We were really excited about the amount of people who were able to come this year, and we’re just looking to continue to grow it with additional activities and more businesses participating in 2024,” Zoss said.