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Valpo’s Fall Harvest Fest all about the sweets

Chase Hines left Sticky Fingers Candy Co. gives safety sucker OliviCook 8 Westville Friday during Valparaiso’s annual Fall Harvest Fest

Chase Hines, left, of Sticky Fingers Candy Co., gives a safety sucker to Olivia Cook, 8, of Westville, Friday during Valparaiso’s annual Fall Harvest Fest, which draws thousands of children. | Sun-Times Media

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For more on Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events, go to www.valparaisoevents.com.

Updated: November 27, 2013 6:12AM



VALPARAISO — In a word, it was all about the candy.

Ask any kid in downtown Valparaiso late Friday afternoon — or even any adult — and the sweet treat was what brought them to the city’s annual Fall Harvest Fest.

Merchants from throughout downtown, and another 20 from elsewhere in the city who set up shop temporarily, handed out goodies to throngs of children who waited patiently in line.

“I tell people to plan on 3,000 ghosts and goblins,” said Tina St. Aubin, director of Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events, which sponsors the fest. She said the event, which also featured hayrides and live music, has been a downtown tradition for longer than anyone can remember.

Jessica Del Real, 11, of Valparaiso, dressed in a kimono and carried a Chinese fan. She found the costume last year and bought it because she thought it was cute. Going from merchant to merchant with her family, Jessica said she’s been to the festival before.

“I get free candy and it’s safe,” she said.

Sticky Fingers Candy Co. has participated in the fest for two years. Chase Hines, a sales associate, handed out safety suckers. The event, he said, was perfect for a candy store.

He liked the overall atmosphere of the festival, too.

“All the stores get to participate in the trick-or-treating. It really makes everyone come downtown and enjoy it,” he said.

The fest drew the usual superheroes and princesses, some Angry Birds, a gumball machine, and a wide array of other get-ups.

Three of the four boys in the Needles family of Valparaiso went the scary/creepy route. Adam, 12, was a gravedigger; Emmett, 9, dressed as an evil jester; and Aiden, 5, went as the devil. Youngest sibling Callahan, 2, kept things tame as a cowboy.

“Every year we brainstorm different things to do, anything where they don’t have to wear a mask,” mom Maryann said, adding her older boys tend to pick scary costumes.

The boys, obviously, like the candy, and their mom likes the social setting.

“It’s fun to see everybody dressed up and your friends,” she said.



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