Tonawanda News — Hundreds of small ghosts and ghouls (and princesses, pirates and more) will descend upon the Tonawandas’ Gateway Harbor from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday for Haunted Harbor, the annual celebration of Halloween that also draws boaters from throughout the area to decorate their vessels, dress up and bring out the candy.
Pam Hogan, North Tonawanda recreation & senior coordinator, said the NT side of things will include free apples and pumpkins for children, apple cider, games and candy. All children are encouraged to wear costumes and also trick or treat at the lighted boats that flock to the harbor for the event, she said.
”Those boats ... (the owners) put their lights on and do the costumes themselves. It’s probably one of the best events we do; it’s unique and creative,” Hogan said, who added that last year’s Haunted Harbor drew more than 300 people despite inclement weather. “Rain doesn’t deter people from coming out with their kids. It’s a nice safe, family event.”
This year, the City of Tonawanda side of the event will host a costume contest for the first time, said Amanda Lofft, director of Tonawanda parks and recreation. Anyone 18 and younger who’s interested in being part of it should be at the stage on that side of the canal at 6:15 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded in five categories: Best homemade, best group, most unique, best celebrity and goriest or scariest. There will also be trick-or-treat stations.
In addition to many Halloween-themed events taking place this weekend, local municipalities have also set trick-or-treating hours for Thursday. In North Tonawanda, hours will be 5 to 8 p.m., according to Mayor Robert Ortt. In the City of Tonawanda, Mayor Ron Pilozzi announced Halloween hours from 6 to 8 p.m. In the Village of Kenmore, hours are also 6 to 8 p.m., while the Town of Tonawanda does not set trick-or-treating hours.