Downtown Chico is well known for being a hot spot of college parties on Halloween night. But before all the partiers come out in droves, Downtown Chico is home to an event called Treat Street in which families can come and take their children trick-or-treating to all the different shops.
Many downtown staples participate in this event, giving out candy to excited patrons.
“We’ve always participated in it,” Made in Chico manager Aimee Anderson said. “It’s such a wonderful event.”
This family-oriented event is run by the Downtown Chico Business Association and has been in place since 2000 and brings in a big crowd each year.
“You get, say, hundreds and hundreds,” Terry Strasser, co-owner of Tom Foolery, said. “We like to have at least 3,000 pieces of candy on hand for the event.”
The event will take place from 2 – 5 p.m. on Halloween, after most kids get out of school and before the chaos of Chicoween starts and downtown loses some of its family friendly qualities.
“I think there’s some bad press about downtown and this is a really good opportunity to have some great press about downtown,” Anderson said. “I think people, especially families, have sometimes been hesitant to come downtown and with events like these they know it’s gonna be safe, they know there’s people helping out on crosswalks, they know that it’s gonna be a fun time had by lots of people.”
Events like Treat Street also positively impact downtown by bringing more exposure to its stores, Anderson said. “Any time we can get people downtown and have them walk past our windows, I think it’s great.”
It is also seen as a fun way to bring businesses and the community together and helps build the relationship between the business and the shopper.
“I think it’s an awesome way to get families connected with downtown,” Strasser said. “We rely on the locals shopping with us for survival, so it’s cool.”
While Treat Street can provide good press and publicity for the businesses, the event itself does not bring the customers into the shops.
“It’s a streamline of people all outside, so they do not come in the store,” Nancy Carlson, owner of Sweet Chico Confections, said. “All they do is come get the free candy and go on. It’s not a good thing for our business but it’s a good thing for the community.”
Treat Street will be held this year on Halloween, so expect downtown Chico to be flooded with families in costume.
Jessie Imhoff can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JessieReports.