Children get chance to collect candy

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On Halloween every year, just as it has done for almost 20 years, the city of Steamboat Springs closes off seven blocks of Lincoln Avenue so that children have a safe place to trick-or-treat.

The Downtown Halloween Stroll started with a few merchants giving out candy and evolved into an annual tradition, now sponsored by the city and the Downtown Business Association.

From Third to 10th streets, downtown Steamboat fills with hundreds of parents and their children in costume.

The owners of every downtown store buy candy and give away every piece -- between 2,500 and 3,000 pieces of candy are handed out at each store.

"We want the young at heart to participate in the festivities," said Sandy Pugh, owner of Celebrations and co-organizer of the Downtown Business Association, "but this year, we want to encourage adults to leave the candy for the kids."

Several members of local churches, including Anchor Way Baptist Church and Euzoa Bible Church, will be passing out hot chocolate downtown, Pugh said.

If the number of costume shoppers at Celebrations is any indication, this is going to be a big year.

"Halloween is way up this year," Pugh said. "Everybody is getting costumes. I'm sure it's going to be a good time."

The trick-or-treating begins at 5 and continues until 7 p.m. With that many people walking around downtown, the Steamboat Springs police and fire departments always show up downtown to ensure safety, but drivers near Lincoln Avenue should be aware of small costumed pedestrians walking on the side of the road, not all of them wearing reflective clothing.

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