Scare on the Square kicks off Wadsworth’s Halloween festivities

BY SARAH SCOBEE

Scare on the square is an annual trick-or-treat event put on in downtown Wadsworth. Families are invited to dress up and visit businesses in downtown to get some candy. Some businesses provide cider, sweets, or other festive treats.

Families line the streets of downtown Wadsworth to gather candy and treats from local businesses. Part of the streets are blocked off for the annual Thriller dance. Photo by Sarah Scobee.

The event include hayrides, games, and other attractions that parents can enjoy with their children.

Crossroads church offers free hayrides for families to enjoy. The church also had games for people to enjoy while at the event. Photo by Sarah Scobee

“Scare on the Square is a fun community tradition that brings Wadsworth together,” said Adrianne Krauss, Executive Director for Mainstreet Wadsworth. 

One of the main attractions of the event is the Thriller dance. This is the seventh year that the dance has been performed in the square. 

Wadsworth residents dress up as zombies and re-enact Michael Jackson’s hit Thriller. A flock of zombies led by Michael Jackson dance their way through the square to put on a show for the community. 

Dr. Alex McIlvaine, who plays Michael Jackson, and Lori McIlvaine run the thriller dance and take on the task of training all the zombies. The McIlvaines started the tradition of the dance after they saw a similar reenactment when they lived in Lexington, Kentucky. 

The zombie dancers will dress up in interesting costumes and makeup and some even do group costumes. 

A.J. Hanna, math teacher at Wadsworth High School, dresses up with his family each year. 

Mr. Hanna and his family dress up for the Thriller dance every year. This year they dressed up as a zombie version of Mario characters. Photo courtesy of A.J. Hanna.

“We choose to continue to do it because it is fun to get creative making our zombie costumes and doing our makeup,” said Hanna. 

Last year 200 zombies performed the dance and this year there was a record of 300 zombies.

After the zombies finish their walk down College Street, they dine at local restaurants downtown and residents can join them and talk with the dead.

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