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Costumed candy-seekers take downtown
Chris Pardue and wife Jessica walk in the rain with son Ian, 3, on Friday during the annual trick-or-treat on the square in Gainesville. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

"I'm my cat, Mr. Jewy," said 5-year-old Tori Mullins.

Yep, that’s right, Tori chose a Halloween costume that no one else would have — she decided to go as her black cat named Mr. Jewy.

Tori was wearing black cat ears, and she had whiskers painted on her face. She was one of many trick-or-treaters on the Gainesville square
Friday evening.

Whether you were a princess, ghost or even a character from Harry Potter, employees from local businesses were ready to give out candy after hearing the magic words: trick-or-treat.

Many parents said they were glad the downtown businesses partner with Mainstreet Gainesville to offer trick-or-treating.

"It keeps them out in the community and gives them things to do," said Tori’s mother, Pam Mullins.

Vincent Barbee, 7, chose to dress up in a pirate costume he borrowed from a friend.

His mother, Pan Barbee, thinks it is good for kids to dress up for Halloween.

"When I was young, we always dressed up, and it was fun, and I’d hate to see him miss that," Barbee said.

Deana Self, who said she enjoyed dressing up as a ballerina when she was a girl, was at the square with her son, Alston. The thought of his mother dressing up as a ballerina made Alston, who just turned 5 on Thursday, laugh.

Alston was dressed up as Iron Man on Friday evening.

Self, who said she believes it is good for kids to get involved in the community and meet new friends, explained that Alston loves super heros.

One of Alston’s trick-or-treating stops was with Brenda Pridgen, the official "candy-hander-outer" Friday evening at Princeton Salon and Spa.

"I’ve been doing this for 30 years," said Pridgen, who said she enjoyed seeing all of the little kids dressed up.

"All kids like to dress up," Pridgen said. "I think it is a part of growing up."

Jennifer Woodcock, a barista at Inman Perk Coffee, was ready for trick-or-treaters with a big bowl of candy in hand.

Woodcock, who said she loves Halloween, has good memories from going trick-or-treating as a kid.

"My mom made me a spider costume when I was 3, and it was awesome," Woodcock said. "It had legs and everything — it was probably my favorite costume."

To Woodcock, Halloween is a very important holiday for kids.

"Kids are able to use their imagination on Halloween," Woodcock said. "And I think that using your imagination is very important when growing up."

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