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[whitespace] Candy Money

Willow Glen--Early last week, Bernie and Robyn Levine, who own Details Clothing Company on Lincoln Avenue, spent nearly $100 at the supermarket on silver- and plastic-wrapped candies and chocolates. But only a small portion of these treats will be saved for Halloween; the rest will be passed out Oct. 30 during Trick-or-Treat on the Avenue--an event that has exploded to become bittersweet for many merchants. "It kills business for the whole day," Levine said. "No one shops because there are just too many people and there's nowhere to park."

Trick-or-Treat on the Avenue began in about 1986, about two years after the inception of the Willow Glen Business and Professional Association, says past president Jerry Caravelli. Merchants began handing out candies to increase their exposure and support a fun community event. Over the years, the event has become almost too popular.

"It started out to be mainly for the preschoolers during the day, with maybe 300-500 kids," Caravelli said. "And then it grew and grew and grew until what it is today, which is a couple thousand kids. The first year or two, they tried to keep it to just the preschoolers in the area, and then it became the whole school, and then other schools outside of the area."

Although merchants enjoy dressing up and watching the kids, they say the event is time-consuming and even hurts business.

"It kills business for the whole day," Levine said. "No one shops because there are just too many people and there's nowhere to park."

Despite their complaints, merchants don't want to see the event end; they just wish a few less kids would turn out.
Cecily Barnes

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Web extra to the October 29-November 4, 1998 issue of Metro.

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