Festival of Treats pro­vides spooky fun

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - SJ Cor­re­spon­dent

The an­nual Festival of Treats trans­formed Rock­mart’s down­town into a gath­er­ing spot for vam­pires, witches, goblins, and pop cul­ture icons who came to­gether to cel­e­brate the tricks and treats of Hal­loween. From top to bot­tom, Mar­ble St. was lined with games, shops, cos­tume con­tests, face paint­ing sta­tions, and plenty of candy avail­able for any and all.

Among the mass of the festival’s en­ter­tain­ment, the cos­tume con­tests proved to be one of the most prom­i­nent at­trac­tions. Sev­eral dif­fer­ent age groups showed off orig­i­nal, scary, and over­all unique cos­tumes with the hopes of win­ning a medal.

“Cos­tumes will be judged on four cat­e­gories in­clud­ing cutest, scari­est, most orig­i­nal, and best over­all,” Rock­mart Chick­fil-A owner and festival staff Zach Thomas said.

Some notable win­ning cos­tumes in­clude Pen­ny­wise the Clown from the scari­est cat­e­gory, a Ru­bik’s Cube from the most orig­i­nal cat­e­gory, Lilo & Stitch from the cutest cat­e­gory, and a head­less per­son from the best over­all cat­e­gory. Fan fa­vorite cos­tumes proved to be The Leg­end of Zelda’s Link, a cast of Star Wars char­ac­ters, and an old cou­ple cos­tume among many more.

Mov­ing down Mar­ble Street, cit­i­zens found that even lo­cal an­i­mals were get­ting into the Hal­loween spirit with a pet cos­tume con­test that promised awards of treats, toys, and groom­ings to the most cre­ative, orig­i­nal and best­fit­ting cos­tumes.

“It takes a lot of cre­ativ­ity, but the cos­tume also has to fit the dog’s over­all look,” lo­cal dog groomer Mat­tie Tay­lor said. “Orig­i­nal­ity is also im­por­tant. If your pet is one of 50 Su­per­mans, it won’t stand out.”

Award win­ning pet cos­tumes in­clude goat Pump­kin’s cow­girl out­fit that snatched first place from the var­i­ous ca­nines present at the event and dog Ozzy Mac’s Bob Mar­ley cos­tume that earned the pet a home­made treat from Chick N’ Scratch. Other notable pet cos­tumes in­clude Bat Dog, Har­ley Quinn, and Won­der Woman. Pump­kin was the only non-dog of the bunch, but see­ing man’s best friend dressed as man’s fa­vorite char­ac­ters made the event more than a worth­while stop.

Not hav­ing a cos­tume didn’t stop lo­cals from en­joy­ing them­selves, how­ever, be­cause live mu­sic, games, and food was of­fered at nearly ev­ery turn. While kids were play­ing minia­ture bowl­ing, trunk or treat­ing, or lis­ten­ing to the broad­cast ra­dio, par­ents could be seen grab- bing a bite to eat at the shops or shop­ping at the booths lo­cals set up.

This year’s Festival of Treats had an ex­plo­sive turnout. Hun­dreds upon hun­dreds of cit­i­zens lined down­town Rock­mart from start to fin­ish, and the traffic was flow­ing con­sis­tently. Spe­cial thanks should be given to the Rock­mart Busi­ness Al­liance that or­ga­nized and hosted the event. Lo­cal busi­nesses and spon­sors such as Chick N’ Scratch Bak­ery did their part by hand­ing out candy through­out the 2-hour event. The event seem gen­uinely well re­ceived.

“It’s nice to see the com- mu­nity come to­gether. I’m here for the pet cos­tume con­test but I’m en­joy­ing the event as a whole,” at­tendee Hailee Brand said. “I just gave my friend a ride here, but this is a pleas­ant sur­prise be­cause I didn’t know Rock­mart re­ally did any­thing like this,” cit­i­zen Bran­don Gra­ham said.

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