CARLISLE – The re-opening of Georgie Lou’s Retro Candy and Gifts, 56 W. High St., may have been derailed by delayed deliveries, incorrect shipments and wet weather that wasn’t conducive to painting, but Spooky Saturday will go on.
“It’s something that people look forward to,” said Stephanie Patterson Gilbert, the owner of Georgie Lou’s. “They start asking me about it in the summer.”
Typically held on the Saturday before Halloween, this year’s Spooky Saturday will be from noon to 3 p.m., Oct. 26.
Gilbert isn’t sure her store will be completely set up by then, but it will serve as the jumping-off point of the event, as it has in each of the four years it has been held.
“At least people can get a little glimpse of (the store),” Gilbert said.
Children will pick up maps at the store that will lead them to the 24 businesses participating this year. Gilbert said most of the businesses on West High Street are participating, as are a number of those along North Hanover Street, including law offices and real estate brokers that Gilbert hadn’t expected to participate.
New downtown businesses, like South Side Deli, Harmony Society and Stacked, are looking forward to participating, Gilbert said.
In addition to the newcomers, there are traditional stops on the route, like Carlisle Arts Learning Center, which offers a craft with the children, and Bosler Memorial Library, which offers activity sheets.
“Of course, there’s treats. Everybody gets a treat,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert is also working with a group that recently held a coat drive to find a place to give away the coats and other winter gear.
Gilbert estimated between 175 and 200 children participated in last year’s event, but it’s important for business owners to remember who the children bring along.
“They have parents and grandparents with them,” she said.
It’s hard to anticipate how many children will participate from year to year, given the number of factors that can influence a family’s decision, including the weather. The second year of the event was snowed out by a freak October storm.
But, Gilbert has it covered if there are more participants than anticipated.
“Luckily, I have a candy store, so I can just pull things off the shelf,” she said.
Gilbert said the event provides a safe alternative to traditional trick-or-treating.
“It’s a much safer, more controlled environment, especially for the much younger kids,” she said.
The event is also important to the revitalizations of the downtown, said Glenn White, executive director of Downtown Carlisle Association.
“Carlisle is lucky to have merchants like Georgie Lou’s who see great opportunities and run with them,” White said. “The success of downtown Carlisle will be determined by how many businesses get involved and make this revitalization movement happen.”
Gilbert said the event draws people downtown who don’t usually visit, and each year she hears from people who say they have discovered a new business during the event.
Email Tammie Gitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @SentinelGitt