‘Boo!’ comes to downtown: Block Party draws crowd of 23,500
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Nov 01, 2012 | 3686 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Halloween 2012
THE BLOCK PARTY brought out the spooks on Halloween night. Headed to the activities and listening to the entertainment were Chris Rozema, Brandy Hewitt and Otis Rozema, all of Cleveland. Banner Photos, DONNA KAYLOR
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Candy, goblins, ghouls, food, music and fun were the theme Thursday night for an estimated 23,500 people who attended the silver anniversary of the Downtown Cleveland Block Party.

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Executive Director Sharon Marr of MainStreet Cleveland and others estimated the attendance.

“That was even before Centenary Avenue visitors turned up downtown,” Rowland said of the numbers.

Atlanta-based band Drivin’ N Cryin’ performed on the Check Into Cash stage and “Rocked the Block.”

Kevn Kinney of DNC said earlier this week the band was ready for Cleveland.

Drivin’ N Cryin’ is one of the South’s hottest jam bands.

Fall temperatures didn’t keep the goblins away.

Cleveland’s legendary Tall Betsy made an appearance as well and warned the younger ones to “Be in by 10 or you are a has-been.”

According to homespun legend, Tall Betsy walks the grounds of Fort Hill Cemetery and balances her 7-foot frame with a persimmon walking cane.

Her favorite snack is tardy trick-or-treaters.

Tall Betsy celebrated her birthday with Cleveland and its visitors who came to participate in the activities and hear the musical performances of the Dexter Thomas Band, Second-hand Smoke and the featured act of DNC.

“We had a great turnout for the 25th annual celebration of the Block Party,” said Marr.

Mars Foods, which was located on Treat Street, handed out thousands of bags filled with M&M candies.

Vendors and others around the Courthouse Square provided warm drinks and a variety of foods, as well as Block Party mementos.

“Thanks so much to Mars, Check into Cash, Pioneer Credit, the Cleveland Police Department and Bradley County Sheriff's Office, and all of our sponsors for making our 25th year celebration possible,” Marr said.

“Streets were cleaned and it’s back to business as usual today thanks to the city of Cleveland Public Works Department and Cleveland Bradley Courts Community Service. It takes many, many volunteers to make this event a success and all are so appreciated,” Marr said.

Centenary Avenue residents, Bradley Square Mall and a number of area churches also handed out treats and tricks to area children.