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Spooky Festivities

Chamber of Commerce 'Nightmare on Broad Street' brings spooky festivities to Windsor town center

WINDSOR - Ghouls, goblins, princesses and superheroes all converged on the Windsor Town Center on Saturday, Oct. 29, for the annual "Nightmare on Broad Street."

For the sixth year in a row, the Chamber of Commerce put on a community-wide Halloween event right in the center of Windsor.

Jane Garibay of the Chamber of Commerce said 3,000 people showed up for the event last year. "Each year it has grown," she said.

During nightmare on Broad Street, the street is closed from one end of the center to the other. "Businesses in the center open up for trick-or-treating," Garibay said. Many businesses that do not have storefronts downtown set up booths on the green for children to trick-or-treat there, as well.

"About 20 businesses set up for trick-ortreating," Garibay said. Even more businesses help with the haunted house, which is set up each year inside the Chamber of Commerce building on the green.

"It's seven rooms of scariness," Garibay said.

The haunted house may even be the focal point of the event. People stood in line for quite a while just to get a peek. While they waited, a scary movie was projected on the side of the house to pass the time and to get people in the mood for a fright.

Garibay said the house was so scary it was not for the little children. "Forty people work in the haunted house, some are from local businesses, and kids from the high school help as well," she said. "It's really a labor of love to set up and decorate." - Garibay said about 800 people make their way through the house each year.

Along with the trick-or-treating, there were hayrides, face painting, an opportunity to have your picture taken with a ghoul, and puppet shows.

The event is free, and Garibay said that is thanks to Windsor Federal Savings, which sponsors the fun. The bank gets into the celebration by lining its grounds with huge blow-up monsters and other Halloween decorations.

Garibay said Nightmare on Broad Street has become very important to local businesses. "It raises awareness and ups the visibility of all the businesses in town, not just those in the center," she said. Any business in town could have had a part, she said.

For families, the event has become a Halloween tradition. Sandi Jenkins came with her 7-year-old daughter, Erica. The two are from Windsor Locks. "We've come several years in a row," Jenkins said.

"It's fun, and I get lots of candy," Erica added.

Lee Hoffman brought along his 3-yearold daughter, Julia, and her grandmother, who came all the way from Washington, D.C. "We came because we heard there was going to be lots of fun and games and candy," Hoffman said. Julia came dressed as a lady bug and said she was excited about all the candy she was getting.

Windsor resident Kathy Kopacz said she had come to Nightmare on Broad Street every year since it began. "I don't remember not coming since I've had kids," she said. She brought her husband, 8-year-old daughter Emily, and 5-year-old son Zachary. "It feels like trick-or-treating when we were kids," Kopacz said.

Lucy Katz, also known as Tiny Bubbles, entertained the younger children with her balloon creations. Katz is from Simsbury, but has worked with the Windsor Chamber of Commerce on different events for years.

One pair of costumes that definitely caught everyone's eye was a father and daughter dressed in matching Tigger costumes. Local carpenter Robert Bentley and his 7-year-old daughter Adelle made the spectacle. Adelle's twin brother Hadrian came to the event as a Power Ranger. "This takes a lot of effort from the town," Bentley said. "It's a good community thing. It's one of the things we love about Windsor."

Lani Gilbuana brought her own little lion, her 3-year-old son Jolo, to the event. It was not just her first visit to Nightmare on Broad Street, it was also her first Halloween living in the United States. "We just wanted to experience what Halloween was like here," she said.

Written by Cathi Sasportas, The Reminder
Reminder Press Nov 8, 2005


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