Halloween ritual returns to B'ville

October has arrived. Halloween is approaching. It's time for Baldwinsville school children to paint the front windows of local merchant's stores with frightened black cats walking through the moonlight, orange pumpkins shining through the spooky darkness and silver ghosts streaming through a dark Halloween sky.

The Baldwinsville Optimist Club and the elementary art teachers have been busily organizing the Halloween Window Painting activity, a decades-long ritual where Baldwinsville students in fourth grade and up paint storefront windows for the Halloween season.

"I remember when I was a kid, I painted a window for a couple of years. It was a fun thing to do," said Chris Sheehan, owner of Sheehan's Appliances.

Dozens of businesses have agreed to make their windows available for young artists. In addition, oftentimes merchants distribute pumpkins, beverages or snacks to make the event more festive for the artists decorating windows. From 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday Oct. 21, Optimists will hold a "paint mixing party," where they mix gallons of colored paint to ensure enough red, orange, yellow, green and dark blue paint is available to generously cover 125 windows.

Each student who has applied to paint a store window will receive their "assignment" from their school's art department this week and should be ready for "Paint Day" held this Saturday, Oct. 25. The Optimist Club supplies the paint and that paint will be distributed from 9 a.m. to noon at Noble's Plaza across from Evans Chevrolet and at downtown parking lots near Key Bank, Village Hardware and Kinney Drug Store.

The young artists, accompanied by a parent, are invited to paint a silly or spooky Halloween picture on the window. After the busy morning of painting is completed, the community is left with a collection of original Halloween pictures to enjoy.

Jim Johnson, president of the Baldwinsville Optimist Club said, "This is an ideal activity for an Optimists Club to organize, because our major focus is today's youth, tomorrow's leaders."

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