Merchants distribute candy to attendees of the 13th Annual Boo on the Belleview on Halloween evening last Wednesday. The event drew approximately 3,000 people.
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

The 13th Annual Boo on the Belleview attracted approximately 3,000 to Belleview District Park next to Carl Grant Civic Center on Halloween evening.

Sponsored by the Iberville Parish Parks and Recreation District, the event draws about 40 vendors that offer a safe alternative to Trick or Treating, according to executive director Mike Markins.

"It is a supplement to bringing your kids to the street where you don't know the people and are running in and out of cars," Markins said.

Charlene Osbourne, who brought her two sons, Katari, 12, and Louis, 6, appreciated the opportunity to attend the event.

"It is all out in the open and safe," Osbourne said. "It is just a great idea."

Markins said children and their families begin lining up to enter the park after school.

"It has become a big thing and it is like this every year," Markins said.

The event is IPRD's biggest single gathering of the year and began through "brainstorming" with others.

"This is what it has turned into," Markins said. "A monstrous like this.

"It is our biggest one-time event that we have. Over time baseball, softball and basketball draw more people but people come from all over to see this."

Markins said bus loads of people have come from as far away as Donaldsonville and St. James.

Iberville Parish Substance Abuse Center clinical supervisor Lisa Broadnax-Jackson said she didn't know of too many areas that offer something like the Boo.

"I can't think of any," Broadnax-Jackson said. "It is exciting to see the different kids come by every year and have an opportunity to get some candy that is ensured to not be injected with anything that is unhealthy. I think this is a safe way to distribute treats in our parish and the families and kids really appreciate it."

Markins said merchants decorate their booths and each year a winner is chosen. Iberville Parish Assessor Randy Sexton and Plaquemine Caring Center tied this year and each will receive a free sponsorship in IPRD's baseball league.

"It doesn't cost them anything except what they give away in candy," Markins said.