PARIS — Ad hoc committees in town are trying to build a sense of community and are calling on the residents of Paris, Norway and beyond to get into the Halloween spirit with the first-ever More at Moore event this weekend.

The free event will be held from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, at Moore Park on Route 26 in Paris. If it rains, the Halloween festival will be moved to the Paris American Legion Hall at 12 Church St.

The Paris Revitalization and Renewal committees, along with the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Key Club, are putting on the event. Festivities will include a band of high-schoolers playing classic rock tunes in the gazebo, pumpkin carving for the first 200 children, face painting, bobbing for apples, games, prizes and a bouncy house provided by the Rotary Club of Oxford Hills.

Hot cocoa, cider and candy will be provided for attendees. There will also be a raffle each child can enter for a sled that was donated by Paracon.

Harvest Hill Farm and Slattery’s Farm and Maple Supply donated pumpkins, and many committee members made donations of their own, according to Sarah Glynn, a member of both committees.

The committees are still looking for donations of bales of hay for people to sit on. Anyone wanting to donate money for this event — or Light up Moore Park, scheduled for the Christmas season — can make a donation to the Paris Renewal Committee account at Rainbow Federal Credit Union.

The idea to host such an event began last October with discussions with the Paris Revitalization Committee, Glynn said. There wasn’t time to pull together an event for that Halloween, so the idea was to get something going for 2015. It started because some people feel that Paris is lacking a sense of community, she said.

“We don’t do anything as a community event. People have noticed Norway is doing tremendously well — everybody applauded that,” she said about the neighboring town’s events. “People in Paris are saying, ‘Hey, let’s do something in our community.’”

So Glynn contacted the pumpkin festival organizer at Camp Sunshine in Casco for ideas and tips to boost the Paris event. She reached out to Mike Vandermark, the faculty advisor for Key Club, and Kate Michaud, who’s the Kiwanis Club liaison for Key Club, and has worked closely with them to organize More at Moore. So far, there are about 15 students and 10 or more adults signed up to volunteer.

The students involved with Key Club were more than happy to help out with the Paris event, Glynn said.

“They’ve always put on an event at the Rowe School after the Norway (Halloween) walk. It is an area tradition. … The kids would take over the gymnasium and put on a haunted house,” she said, noting this year’s haunted house isn’t happening because there weren’t enough volunteers from the Parent Teacher Association to assist.

“The kids were very disappointed. … I am very much focused towards kids with Kiwanis and Key Club. This just enhances opportunities for kids, for people, who don’t have money to go out and spend it on things.”

The plan is to make More at Moore an annual event and piggyback on the Norway Downtown Halloween Festival.

“They can do something in Norway then they can come over to Paris,” Glynn said.

Norway’s event will run from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday. Trick-or-treating along Main Street will stretch from the Lajos Matolcsy Arts Center and First Universalist Church of Norway to Economy Auto Sales and Bisco Properties.

Norway Recreation Director Deb Partridge — who puts on the annual event with Norway Downtown — welcomes the new Paris event.

“I don’t have a problem with two things going on at once. … The more times kids can use their outfits, their costumes, the better. The more, the merrier, to me,” she said. “I love Halloween. It’s my favorite time of year. Something should be going on every weekend in October.”

The Norway festival includes trick-or-treating at 66 businesses and organizations, crafts, games, food and an appearance from a number of mascots, including Smokey the Bear and the Cat in the Hat. Maps and trick-or-treat bags will be available at Norway Memorial Library. Maps are also available on Norway Downtown’s Facebook page.

There are slightly fewer businesses and organizations participating than last year, but new ones have signed on, Partridge said. They include Oxford Hills Education Association, Norway Brewing Company (even though the business isn’t open yet) and Hannaford.

“There’s several businesses not on Main Street that want to come on Main Street and join in on the fun,” she said, naming New Balance and Stephens Memorial Hospital among them.

While this event is naturally geared toward kids, it’s a family affair.

“We are getting so many parents dressing up now, which was our goal several years ago,” Partridge said.

Along with the Halloween festival being a fun activity for all involved, businesses are reaping the benefits as well, with many reporting gaining returning customers after the event, Partridge said.

“It’s hard to know how many businesses we do have. When you’re driving through, you don’t see them all,” she said. “It’s just wonderful because everyone loves the holiday and everyone wants to do it.”

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Other Halloween events

Wicked Weird and Totally Freaky Trot by the Lake
Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Norway Town Office, 19 Danforth St.
10k begins at 9 a.m. and 5k begins at 9:45 a.m.
Race benefits the Progress Center. There will also be a costume contest.
Call 207-743-8049, ext. 266 for more information.
 
Halloween in Harrison
5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Harrison Fire Station, 34 School St. 
This is for Harrison children in prekindergarten through sixth grade. Festivities include the DJ Mitchell Music and Light Show, games with prizes, an arts and crafts table with painting a pumpkin or canvas Halloween trick-or-treat bag, the Witch Wagon, guess the weight of the giant pumpkin and guess jars, and a healthy refreshment table.
 
Great Pumpkin Carving Contest
All day Friday, Oct. 30, and morning of Saturday, Oct. 31.
Drop off pumpkins at the West Paris General Store at 1 Church St. during those times with name and number. Two $25 gift certificates will be awarded to any child from West Paris in sixth grade and younger or any child in seventh-grade and older or adult from West Paris. Jack-o’-lanterns will be judged by artist Mikki Liimatta. 
 
Trunk or Treat
3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at Buckfield Municipal Building parking lot, 34 Turner St.
Hosted by Order of the Eastern Star. Trick-or-treating in the parking lot for youngsters.
 
Halloween Dance
8-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, Locke Mills Legion Hall, 595 Gore Road.
Music by Shadagee Ramblers. BYOB. Call Ray at 207-890-3737 for more information.

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