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Pumpkin Palooza coming to downtown Plymouth this Sunday, October 23, from noon to 4:00!

Games, crafts, entertainment, a “haunted alley” and candy — of course — will hit the streets of downtown Plymouth next weekend for the debut of a one-day Halloween party for children.

Pumpkin Palooza, a free event being organized by downtown retailers, will combine elements the Great Pumpkin Caper (downtown trick-or-treating) and summertime’s Kid Palooza, the two events it replaces. The first-ever Pumpkin Palooza is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.

“We wanted it to be more of an event instead of the normal trick-or-treating,” said Lindsey Lebovitz, the owner of Creatopia and chairwoman of the Pumpkin Palooza committee.

“It’s more fun for the kids instead of just walking around in a circle on the sidewalk, in a big, huge crowd,” Lebovitz added.

The Great Pumpkin Caper, which drew kids to downtown businesses that were passing out candy, was popular, said Teri Fry, events manager at the Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce, but the spirit of Halloween — and fun — was lost in the crush of people.

Pumpkin Palooza, while offering trick-or-treating at some businesses (and at candy stations at three major intersections), will also feature a variety of activities that should be more in keeping with the Halloween theme, she said.

“They wanted to do something better,” Fry said of the retailers.

Pumpkin Palooza will take place downtown on Main, Forest, Ann Arbor Trail and Penniman — the streets will be closed to vehicles — and at Kellogg Park and The Gathering.

Games, with prizes, will include pumpkin bowling (pumpkins as bowling balls, gourds as the pins), witch-hat ring toss, pumpkin bocce ball and “ghost” waiter races. There will also be Halloween-themed crafts, a strolling magician and a strolling balloon sculptor, a 2:30 p.m. hula-hoop demonstration in Kellogg Park, and a noon pet costume contest and 1:30 p.m. children’s costume contest both at The Gathering. (Registration for the pet contest is at 11:30 a.m.; entrants to the kids’ contest can just show up).

Pumpkin Palooza will also feature a “haunted alley” (the passageway between Main and the lower part of the downtown parking deck) and a “pirate singer” who will be doing his swashbuckling on Forest between Wing and Ann Arbor Trail.

Jack Demmer Ford is the event’s major sponsor, but Fry said upwards of 35 businesses are participating. Some 20 to 25 of those, said Lebovitz, will have candy for trick-or-treaters.

It’ll be the only downtown Plymouth event designed especially for children, the two said.

“Most of the events that go on in town are for adults, except for Fall Festival,” said Fry. “So this is strictly a children’s event.”

For updates on Pumpkin Palooza offerings, check the chamber’s website,, and click on the “events” tab.

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