A scaled-down Boo Bash still will provide St. Clair children the opportunity to parade in their Halloween costumes and receive treats for their efforts.
The annual event is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, in Orchard Park.
On Monday night, St. Clair Mayor Ron Blum declared that the park will be a festival district from 2 to 6 p.m. that afternoon.
That means that no pets, leashed or unleashed, will be allowed in the park during that time. It also means no alcohol of any kind will be permitted in the park.
St. Clair Parks and Recreation Board members recently made the final plans for Boo Bash when they gathered at the end of last month.
The 2013 edition will resemble more of a “trunk or treat” event for youngsters, even though vendors still will be invited to show off and sell their wares. A couple of new features have been added.
The highlight of the afternoon will be the parade of costumes at 3 p.m. At that time, dressed-up children from newborns to age 12 will walk around the east parking lot in front of the smaller pavilion. There, any vendors present will pass out candy to the youth who participate.
After the parade, costumes will be judged in four categories. Children ages 0 to 2 will be judged at 3:15, ages 3-5 will follow at 3:30, ages 6-8 will be judged at 3:45 and youths ages 9-12 will be judged at 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded.
One of the added events will be a hayride. Willie Nelson, husband of park board President Linda Luetje Nelson, will have a hay-covered wagon at Orchard Park and will drive children around the walking trail during the afternoon. There is no cost. Adults will need to accompany younger children.
The hayride is sponsored by Meramec Lakes Golf Course where Willie Nelson is employed.
Also, Rachel Rodman will be setting up her bounce house near the small pavilion for the youngsters to enjoy.
Earlier this year, Rodman, owner of Bouncin’ Around Bounce House Rentals, was given permission by the St. Clair Planning and Zoning Board to operate the bounce house business out of her home. As a good-faith measure to the city, Rodman is donating her services during Boo Bash.
In past years, Boo Bash has included vendor opportunities similar to what takes place during the city’s big annual party — Freedom Fest. This year, those vendors still may show up and participate, but the focus mainly will be on providing treats for the youth who don their Halloween costumes.
In fact, any vendor who wants to show up may do so for free, but the vendor must bring prepackaged candy to distribute at no charge to children who show up for the annual Halloween parade.
In past years, 200 to 300 children have participated.
Vendors may set up in the east parking lot at 2 p.m. They are encouraged to decorate their booths in a Halloween theme.
Individuals with questions may contact city hall at 636-629-0333.
The decision to scale down Boo Bash was made in part because the St. Clair Jaycees this year has opted not to have a chili cook-off.
Several years ago, the two events were combined in an effort to attract a larger and more diverse crowd. However, the number of chili participants has dwindled, so St. Clair Jaycees President Stephanie Smith decided to cancel the event this fall.
During their September meeting, park board members also started to discuss and plan the 2013 Lighted Christmas Parade.
It is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Floats will line up on High School Drive at 5 p.m.
The route will follow Bardot Street to East Springfield Road to Main Street and end on Kitchell Avenue.
As is the tradition, Santa Claus will ride in the final float as he arrives in St. Clair to greet local children. After the parade, he will walk to the gazebo area in City Park and will flip the switch lighting the caboose there.
After that, he will visit with the children.
Individuals and groups are invited and encouraged to participate in the parade. The “cost” to enter is 10 canned or nonperishable food items. If floats are to be judged, the fee is 15 food items.
All items will go to the St. Clair Cops and Kids canned food project that helps area pantries during the holiday season.