Halloween festival may haunt downtown this year

HARLINGEN — City officials are discussing relocating the ghouls, ghosts and shrieks of the annual Halloween Festival from Rangerville Park to downtown.

The Oct. 31 festival has been held at Rangerville Park for several years, but the city Parks and Recreation Department has approached the Downtown Improvement District Board to see if Jackson Street would be a better fit as a venue.

“I was approached by Javier Mendez from the Parks and Recreation Department,” said Edward Meza, downtown manager, at a board meeting this week. “For the past few years they have been having the Halloween Festival at Rangerville Park, and they said the past two years it’s been rained out.”

“They wanted to see if we can have it downtown,” Meza said.

Parks Superintendent Jeff Lyssy “said he cooked 4,000 hot dogs, so that tells you how many people attended,” Meza added.

Those free hot dogs were a big draw for the 6th Annual Halloween Festival last year. Also included were live bands, a haunted house trail, a hay ride and trick-or-treating for kids.

Meza told board members that if they are not opposed to the idea, a meeting with parks and rec officials could be scheduled to smooth out details for a partnership for the 7th Annual Halloween Festival.

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Community members exit one of the haunted houses at the “Harlingen Halloween in the Park” event Saturday evening at Rangerville Road Park in Harlingen. About 3,000 trick-or-treat bags were distributed at the third annual gathering.