Rain and chilly temperatures not stopping Cleveland's Downtown Halloween Block Party
UPDATE: The Halloween weather forecast has been closely watched over the past few days, especially by residents of Cleveland, TN.
Cleveland is known for its Downtown Halloween Block Party, which is in its 32nd year, and for trick-or-treating on Centenary Avenue.
The stakeholders of the Cleveland Block Party started talking about the weather on Monday morning with rain and chilly temperatures in the forecast.
Leaders had a meeting on Tuesday afternoon and decided based on the most recent forecast to go forward with the Block Party on Halloween night.
"We've been watching the weather and looking at that. In the 32 years, it's never been canceled. We've never discussed moving it," Sharon Marr, Executive Director of MainStreet Cleveland which organizes the event, explained.
They did discuss postponing it this year but determined that they would lose a lot of people and security if it was moved to the weekend.
The annual Block Party starts at 5 p.m, and all the heaviest rain and storms should be done by then.
"The weather is going to time out just about right for us. It's going to be cold all weekend, but what better night for Halloween than a howling weather night," Marr optimistically said.
Rain earlier in the day on Thursday will make set-up challenging for vendors, but Marr told Channel 3 that no vendors have canceled.
The Block Party will run from 5 to 10 pm on Halloween night around the Cleveland courthouse square.
"Live entertainment by 3 different bands. We have 45 vendors. We have 10,000 bags of candy that's packed and donated by Mars chocolate to give away on Treat Street," said Marr of the festivities.
Candy will be given out by vendors as well for as long as it lasts.
They are expecting their normal large crowd of 15 to 20,000 people.
Just a little way down the road, you can trick-or-treat on Centenary Avenue.
Residents dramatically decorate their yards and hand out candy to thousands.
"I think that the most people that we've ever had that we could verify, this was about a few years ago, was 10,000 people on Centenary, so it will be wall to wall out here tomorrow night,” Jim Park, a Centenary Ave resident, said.
His yard is decorated with tombstones and he claims the title of “Proprietor of the Centenary Cemetery”
Park estimated that he alone has 10,000 to 12,000 pieces of candy to hand out.
"We're going to go on with trick-or-treating tomorrow night. The schools are out on Friday, so we do anticipate a good turnout. And, we will be here handing out candy," stated Park enthusiastically.
Like the Block Party, the tradition of Centenary is long-lasting.
"My good friend, Allan Jones, started the tradition on Centenary when he came up with the idea of Tall Betsy. Tall Betsy was supposedly a very tall lady that was very self-conscious about her height, kind of lurked in the shadows of downtown Cleveland."
Tradition states that if you are out late trick-or-treating and you see Tall Betsy, you better run.
The Cleveland Halloween Block Party was originally started by the Cleveland Police Department as a safe alternative to trick-or-treating.
Over the years it has morphed into a large-scale community event.
They are able to put it on every year with the help of many sponsors and over 200 first responders and volunteers.
PREVIOUS STORY: All eyes have been on the weather forecast with rain expected to move out just in time for the 32nd Halloween Block Party to go on as planned for Thursday, October
31 (Halloween night) from 5-10 p.m. in downtown Cleveland.
45 vendors are expected to be there with all types of food including barbecue ribs, grilled chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs, funnel cakes, treats for the kids, games, and much more.
There will also be performances on three stages on Treat Street. We can't forget about the kids, there will be inflatable bounce houses and a costume contest starting at 6 p.m.
For complete details on this free family, event call Mainstreet Cleveland at 479-1000 or visit us on Facebook or the website at www.mainstreetcleveland.com.
To receive up to the minute weather updates download the WRCB weather app. or visit our website. https://www.wrcbtv.com/weather