By Cassidy Pate, News Editor
Downtown Belton’s Candy Trail sweetened the streets of downtown Belton, as 30 businesses handed out candy to children of the Central Texas community in celebration of Halloween on Saturday. Hosted by Discover Downtown Belton, it was an afternoon filled with candy, costumes and cheerfulness for those participating.
Business owners and/or their employees stood outside of their stores to greet passersby with buckets of sweets and their own twist on the Halloween spirit.
Leila Valcher, Owner of My Giving Tree Gift Shop & Art Gallery, serves as the director of “Discover Downtown Belton,” a Facebook page dedicated to spreading the word about our community, so the Candy Trail is her and the Downtown Belton Business Alliance’s responsibility.
As she and her daughters, Jamie Davenport and Jessica Shelton, placed candy in the bags of children walking by, Valcher was eager to share about this year’s trail being the biggest one yet, saying it was “unbelievable.”
Jomeka Gray brought her family to the Candy Trail for the third year in a row.
“Well we live out here in Belton; we love to come out for the festivities, to a nice, safe Halloween, and then also we get to see some of the businesses and what they have to offer in downtown because we don’t get a chance to come out often,” Gray said. “It’s gonna be a tradition, it’s gonna continue on and on.”
With this, Gray said the Belton community and the events hosted within it are just a portion of what makes it so special.
“I love the community; they’re very opening, they’re very diverse; I feel great, especially with our kids being here,” Gray said. “It’s a very welcoming place.”
Although it is still undergoing construction, the team from Oakfire Pizza and Brewing participated in the Candy Trail with a massive Halloween display. The construction zone, lined with caution tape, fit perfectly with the Halloween mood, while a blow-up, wicked tree, pumpkin headed monster and ghost, cobwebs and scarecrows greeted those ready to receive their treats.
Antonio Gonzalez and Brett Snyder are business partners and co-owners of Oakfire Pizza and Brewing, which they are hoping to open by the end of December or the beginning of January. Fit with a basement and rooftop, the restaurant and brewery is complete with four floors.
Following his retirement from the United States Military, Gonzalez moved to Belton and decided to move forward with Oakfire Pizza and Brewing, so the Candy Trail was the perfect place to get to know the community.
“This is our third time, and we love it; we’re always looking forward to doing this,” Gonzalez said. “Just meeting everybody, all the kids, all the costumes; it’s amazing.”