McPherson's Main Street will have its annual trick-or-treat night from 5:50 to 7:30 p.m. today.


McPherson's Main Street will have its annual trick-or-treat night from 5:50 to 7:30 p.m. today.
Participating merchants will stand outside their downtown businesses and offer candy to hundreds of children and families.
“The merchants like it because it's a nice way to interact with people,” said Ann Engel, executive director of Main Street, adding this gives back to those who support local merchants.
The designated area will stretch from the 300 block of North Main to the 200 block of South Main. Businesses who are not located on Main Street also will be able to participate this year. Booths will be set up at The Plaza or in the People’s Bank or Main Street office parking lots.
“They’re so community minded,” Engel said of the businesses who use money out of their own pocket to purchase goodies. “They're just doing it because they want to.”
In addition the downtown bustle, there will be the annual Halloween carnival from 6 to 8 p.m. in the community building. This will involve games, free picture taking from Walgreens, food and costume judging at 6:30 p.m. It is free to enter, but tickets must be purchased for games. A canned food item, however, can be exchanged for two tickets.
A trunk or treat area will be at the McPherson Post Office parking lot and the Fire Department will give candy away in the parking lot next to People's Bank.
“It's really handy because it's all connected in one area,” Engel said.
Engel said it’s difficult to predict the number of children who will participate in the event. Last year, she bought for 700 and ran out in less than an hour.
Engel said she is often surprised at the number of people who come downtown who do not do so otherwise. This allows them to see what the city has to offer.
“It's always fun to show your kids off and have a safe activity they can do,” she said.  “It's just so fun to see how creative people get with the costumes.”
Weather will be a factor to consider as cold weather returns Thursday evening. The National Weather Service predicts a mostly clear night, but temperatures could dip as low as 33 degrees.
Main Street’s trick or treat event precedes Halloween day, Oct. 31, when residential door-to-door trick-or-treating is traditionally available. City Administrator Nick Gregory encourages those who do not wish to participate to turn off their front porch lights.