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Superheros, princesses, pirates invade downtown
Trick or Treat on the Square held in Gainesville
Lana Woodward, right, 8, checks out the candy her friend Shelby Benjamin, 8, got while trick-or-treating Friday during Trick or Treat on the Square. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Halloween and fall festival events

Family Fun Festival, Braselton. Hayride, carnival games, gospel music, outdoor movie. Bring blankets or chairs. 5-7:30 p.m. today, Christian Life Center, 8383 Ga. 53, Braselton. Free; some food costs. 678-947-1685.

Trunk or Treat, Murrayville. Games, food and candy. 6-9 p.m. today, Murrayville Congregational Holiness Church, Ga. 60 across from Yellow Creek Road, Murrayville. Free. 770-718-9886 or 706-892-5928.

Fall Fest, Gainesville. Trunk 'n' treat, games, food, costume contest, pony rides, cake walks and live music. 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Redwine United Methodist Church, 3285 Poplar Springs Road, Gainesville. 770-536-5164.

Guided walking ghost tours, Flowery Branch. Friday-Sunday nights through November, times flexible. Downtown Flowery Branch. Six person minimum; call for reservations. $10 adults, $8 children and senior citizens.

Haunted Nights of Lights, Buford. Animated Halloween lights, haunted maze, pony rides, pumpkins, carnival rides, marshmallow roast and shopping. 7-11 p.m. nightly through Sunday, Lake Lanier Islands Resort, 7000 Holiday Road, Buford. $20 per car Monday-Thursday, $25 per car Friday-Sunday.

Haunted Laser Tag, Gainesville. 7 p.m. today and Sunday, Funtastik! Family Entertainment Center, 2317 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville. $10. For ages 11 and older. 770-536-5563.


Friday evening, a Ninja Turtle, Batman and a pirate rode a train around the downtown square and not one person was shocked by the sight.

Before you panic thinking strange creatures have invaded Gainesville just in time for Halloween, you should know Friday was the annual Trick or Treat on the Square.

"We came last year," said Madison Roberts, a 7-year-old Gainesville resident who was sporting a witch costume. "I hope I get some M&Ms."

Each year, downtown merchants set up shop outside and pass out goodies to hundreds of trick-or-treaters swarming the square.

Artists with Gallerie 110 decided to dress for the occasion.

"This is the first Halloween that our shop has been open, so we decided to dress up," said Lydia Ferguson, gallery artist and witch for a day.

"We're just excited to be here, and the kids are so cute."
Her fellow artist Patti Russell dressed up like a fortune teller.

"I see candy in your future," Russell said as she simultaneously rubbed her crystal ball and dropped treats into the waiting bags of a delighted Spiderman and piglet.

With Halloween falling on Sunday this year, there has been a lot of confusion about which day to go trick-or-treating.

Instead of choosing, many parents have decided to spread out the fun throughout the weekend.

"We'll probably go trick-or-treating Saturday and then go to a church event on Sunday," said Amy Massey, an Alto resident. "I think that's what most people are doing."

Gainesville resident Julie McNeal and her 5-year-old son Josiah McNeal also are planning to make it a weekendlong celebration, which kicked off at the downtown event.

"We have a home-school party (Saturday) and a lot of the churches are doing things Sunday, so we'll probably go to a couple of those too," McNeal said.

No matter which day you choose to scare up a few treats, Mother Nature isn't expected to dole out many tricks to wreak havoc on gossamer wings or superhero capes.

According to the National Weather Service, today's mostly clear forecast calls for a high of 68 degrees, light winds and an overnight low of 45 degrees.

Sunday's weather is expected to be sunny, with a high of 72 degrees and a low of 50 degrees.