VACAVILLE — Ghosts, ghouls, super heroes, historical figures and all manner of movie characters invaded downtown Vacaville on Thursday for the annual Halloween Stroll.
Hundreds of families with children ranging from newborns to teenagers filled the sidewalks along Main and Merchant streets as they visited local businesses for trick-or-treating, while hundreds more filled Town Square for some live entertainment.
Costumes were store-bought and homemade, but the smiles were real as the community gathered for an afternoon of fun. Creativity was on full display as well with one family carting their 18-month-old twins around in a handmade pirate ship.
“I found ideas like it online and we just decided to make it happen,” said Dawn Cradduck, whose twin boys, Joshua and Jacob, were dressed as Captain Hook and Peter Pan, respectively.
The pirate ship was made of plywood, painted red and black and built to fit over the boys’ little red wagon. Dad Aaron Cradduck said he and his wife spent parts of three weekends and some evenings working on the idea.
“They’re happy,” Dawn Cradduck said. “We wanted to get some candy. Maybe we can get some lollipops.”
The Halloween Stroll has already become a tradition for the young family.
“We came last year, they were just brand new babies. Walked around and saw all the kids having fun,” Dawn Cradduck said. “Of course because it’s community-oriented it’s a good place to be. Safe place for trick-or-treating.”
A number of families kept the same theme through their costumes. That was the case for the Watkins family of Fairfield. Evan, Stephany and 2-year-old Addyson Watkins all went with the Batman/Batgirl theme.
“We just got here, so we’re going to start trick-or-treating,” Stephany Watkins said.
The family stood in a long line of trick-or-treaters visiting businesses on the south side of Main Street.
“I think it’s safer, probably more fun,” Stephany Watkins said. “I definitely think it’s safer with more kids around, makes it more festive.”
While it was fun, the fact the streets remained open even with so much foot traffic was a concern.
“It’d probably be better with less street traffic,” Evan Watkins said.
The Halloween Stroll was a new experience for a family that has lived in the area for s short time.
“We’ve been here a year,” Evan Watkins said. “This is the first time we’ve been down here.”
Things took a decidedly Roman turn as Kevin Shaw and daughter Veronica, 9, made their way down the street. Kevin Shaw was dressed as Roman general-turned-dictator Julius Caesar. Veronica was a Roman goddess.
“We like seeing all the different costumes and of course she likes the candy,” Kevin Shaw said.
Much like other families, the Halloween Stroll has become a tradition for the Shaws.
“We come here every year and on our next stop we hit the senior center, so we hit both things,” Kevin Shaw said. “It’s nice that they do this. It makes it a safe Halloween.”
As they moved between businesses, Veronica took inventory of her loot.
“I have lollipops, Starburst, candy bars,” she said with a smile.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.