Cruise for candy downtown

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Joe Kboudi left his post at All That Jazz on Thursday afternoon to buy 3,000 pieces of candy.

In previous years, he had bought 2,500 pieces and he always ran out.

On Halloween every year, the city of Steamboat Springs closes Lincoln Avenue through downtown from 5 to 7 p.m. so children can trick-or-treat at downtown businesses. The Downtown Halloween Stroll is sponsored by the Downtown Business Association.

"I don't remember how many years ago we started this, maybe 15 or 20, but the Downtown Business Association wanted to create a safe place for kids to trick-or-treat," Kboudi said.

The Steamboat Springs police and fire departments will help ensure safety with a strong presence downtown.

The stroll started with merchants giving candy to any child who walked in. The event has grown into one of Steamboat's best-known traditions. Thousands of children and their parents are expected.

"When it started, it was a fifth of the size it is today," Kboudi said. "It has become really popular and a great place for kids to come."

Eventually, parents started joining in the fun, Kboudi said. "The whole family dresses up, and it has become a real community event. Even some of the merchants dress up."

Johnny B. Good's diner throws a big party for trick-or-treaters each year, and they give out the most popular treat on Lincoln Avenue -- little bags of french fries.

"Everyone looks forward to this," Kboudi said.

This year, Kboudi has a granddaughter and plans to go trick-or-treating with her instead of manning his usual post at the door of the music store.

With the candy and the costumes comes another Halloween tradition -- snow.

"The poor kids are always snowed on," he said.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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