McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

October 16, 2013

Taking a break: Scare on the Square won’t be held this fall, but may return in 2014

ENID, Okla. — After nine years, Scare on the Square will take a break this fall, but come back fresher and stronger next year, said Tammy Wilson, coordinator of the annual Halloween event.

“We are reorganizing. As far as I know, we will be back next year,” Wilson said.

Wilson is an Enid city commissioner and also co-headed the successful ballot ini-tiative push to allow Sunday alcohol sales in Garfield County, which was approved by voters Oct. 8.

As time for the Scare on the Square approached, Wilson said she was trying to think of ways to improve it, and decided to cancel this year and revamp the event to make it better.

“I would rather have a quality event than one I’m not happy with,” Wilson said.

The first year for Scare on the Square was 2003, and crowds have varied in size in the past nine years, with most years drawing large and boisterous crowds.

Wilson said the event always was intended to be an old-fashioned Halloween festival, but over the past few years has turned into something different. People told Wilson they had stopped coming because the crowds were less friendly and many were only there for the candy.

“When we started it, we made it free so everyone can come and participate and we may have devalued it,” she said. “We’re trying to get back to the original idea of a Halloween festival.”

Wilson said she had planned events, but people were not participating because the event had become a place where people could get candy. She is trying to return the event to the old-fashioned Halloween Festival, which she originally intended it to be.

“We’re trying to get back to a Halloween Festival, not just a candy grab,” Wilson said.

Wilson said she also heard people saying that she (Wilson) is getting lots of money from it.

“There is no money. That’s also part of the issue. It’s all done on donations, and we never know if we will have the money to do it. Or the manpower,” Wilson said.

Many people think the Scare on the Square is a city of Enid function, or is sponsored by an organization, when it actually is a handful of volunteers, who differ each year.

The costume contest always has been popular, and Wilson plans to keep that. Last year’s contest was populated with “hundreds” of entries, and she said everyone still likes the costume contest.

“It’s hard to tell how many we will have — there are so many. It is one of the most fun things, and we will keep that and try to revamp some of the other things,” Wilson said.

Each year’s planning group fluctuates, but is usually a “very small” group of people, she said.

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