Treat & Greet 2016 Most Successful Yet
Saturday, October 29th, was certainly a big day for the business community in Polish Village. Treat & Greet 2016, had the largest turnout ever. Mother Nature was certainly onboard with blue skies and unseasonably warm weather. All the kids, decked out in their various costumes, were impatiently waiting the kick off at 11:00 a.m. with some still going strong when it ended at 3:00 p.m.
Treat & Greet began 6 years ago, when Ward 2 Councilwoman, Debbie Lime, and the all-volunteer Polish Village Community Development Corporation (CDC) were brainstorming ways to increase foot traffic to the various small businesses on Ridge Road, and provide a fun, safe, community oriented project for the residents. Each year Treat & Greet has grown, and offered something new and different. The concept behind this is that many people drive on Ridge Road daily, but are not familiar with the small businesses and shops. Treat & Greet, offers residents a chance to walk Ridge Road, visiting the various participating businesses with their children for candy, while allowing the adults to see what the businesses have to offer.
As a resident of Polish Village, a mother and grandmother, I was particularly happy to see the children in costumes, walking with adults, during the daytime, rather than the normal trick-or-treat hours in the evening during Halloween. Less trips and falls on those porch steps, sidewalks, and driveways. Plus, the really little ones can see and experience Halloween in daylight.
Kick off this year was located at 5767 Ridge Road, next door to the new Barabicu Smokehouse. Adults were given a passport per family, with the names and addresses of each of the participating businesses. As the families went from site to site, the passport was stamped. For each ten stamps the families were given a ticket to enter a drawing. The prizes were donations from area businesses and valued from $50 to $150 each. About 30 lucky families received gift baskets, gift cards and certificates. This year there were 45 places participating between the intersections of Pearl/Ridge and Ridge/Thornton. Over 65,000 pieces of candy and gum were distributed this year. Many businesses supplement the candy and gum provided by Polish Village CDC with coupons for discounts and other free items. Residency is not required for Treat & Greeters and many people traveled from all over Northeast Ohio. There were 360 passports turned in - an increase of about one-third over the prior year. Many businesses from outside of Polish Village and individuals sponsored the event.
This year, Sparky The Dog, The Northeast Ohio Ghostbusters, Spiderman, A Minion, Elmo, a Ghost, and a Skeleton were spotted walking amongst the crowds. The Parma Auxiliary provided photo opportunities for kids in a real live police car. Parma Police K-9 Dexter, his handler, and other Parma Police were on hand as was the Parma Fire Department to meet with the children and pass out candy and stickers. So were some balloon twisters. As one drove down Ridge Road, the sidewalks were jammed with pedestrian traffic walking to the various businesses. It was a sight to behold, just like in the movies, of small town community spirit. Events like this are what makes Parma a wonderful place to live and a great place to raise a family.
Board Secretary of Parma Area Fine Arts Council, Inc, or PAFAC, and Artist/Jewlery Designer, Owner Aire of Oppulence.