Halloween can be an economic stimulus for business districts

Some areas need the help after disasters

A flamingo costumed worker hands out candy to trick or treaters on State Street in Santa Barbara. (Photo: John Palminteri/

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Halloween can be an economic stimulus for some business areas hit hard in recent disasters.

Both the Thomas Fire and the Montecito Mudflow caused air quality problems, freeway closures and financial hardships for residents who were out of work.  In turn, the business community hit the skids.

Now with down the Halloween afternoon, comes strolling trick or treating at 80 businesses downtown in Santa Barbara, on Milpas Street and Coast Village Road which was called Ghost Village Road.

Jalen Roberson with the Boys and Girls Club had about 150 kids on the move. Many an trick or treat safely with an escort from the club, instead of waiting until later when their parents or off of work.  In some cases their parents are at work and they are not able to go out at night at all, making the business Halloween idea from 3 - 6 p.m. more effective.

"I like it because we don't want to be worried. We don't want to be hit by a car.  It is safer," said Victor Mesa, a parent on State Street with his child. "She's loving it.  It's her first year understanding what trick or treat is and she's loving it so far."

Inside a flamingo outfit Whitney Lynd said she had a bowl of "fruit chews, tootsie rolls and the bowl is almost gone.   I don't think we will have enough candy."

It was probably a hard one to calculate with three hours of kids and an unknown number coming through.  Many streets had the children in costumes swarming like bees, until the sun set and the events ended.

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