Wilkes-Barre closes off downtown for a spooky good time

i Oct 31st 2018

BY Patrick Kernan , Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Halloween isn’t meant to be scary; it’s about everyone having fun.

At least, that’s how Andrew Jackloski feels about the holiday.

The 31-year-old from Edwardsville was suited up as the DC comic character Green Arrow in a professional-level outfit at the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Trick-Or-Treating Event.

“Kids look at you like you’re a real hero,” he said, while a handful of kids came up to him looking for a photo. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Jackloski says he really enjoys what Halloween means.

“Everyone thinks it’s supposed to be scary, but that’s not what it’s about,” Jackloski said. “It’s meant to be a fun night.”

And Jackloski wasn’t the only one in costume having fun on Wednesday night. Hundreds of kids and parents came out to take part in the event. South Main Street was closed between Northampton Street and Public Square.

Between 4 and 7 p.m. Wednesday night, most businesses in downtown along that stretch of road participated in trick-or-treating along with Wilkes-Barre police and fire crews. And numerous businesses from other parts of town — including the Times Leader — set up shop in booths along the path.

One of the groups handing out candy was the Wilkes University History Club. The group’s co-presidents, Robbie Petrovich and Domingo Franciamore, said they thought the event would be a good way to get the group’s name out there.

Petrovich is originally from Wilkes-Barre, and he said it’s great to see events like this.

“For years, it was becoming a less and less safe environment, but things like this are just a great community event,” he said.

And a community event it was. Outside of the Midtown Village on South Main Street, a group of zombies gathered to perform an excellently-choreographed rendition of Michael Jackson’s classic “Thriller.” And at the center of the group was the city’s mayor, Tony George, who pulled off the dance as well as any of the other zombies.

Latoya and Lashonda Hyland, a mother and daughter team from Kingston, brought out the little ones in their family. The family is originally from New Jersey, and they said they think events like the one in downtown Wilkes-Barre are really nice.

“I would rather this than house-to-house trick-or-treating,” Lashonda said. “It’s safe, you go early and you get to be home early.”

After they got their fill of candy in downtown, they said they would be hitting up other similar events in the Wyoming Valley before heading home for the night.