Mermaids, dinosaurs and superheroes paraded through the streets of downtown Bangor this Halloween, carrying bright orange candy-filled bags donated by Eastern Maine Medical Center.
The University of Maine Museum of Art (UMMA) was one of 42 businesses to participate in the “Downtown Bangor Halloween Trick or Treat” Saturday Oct. 31. The two-hour event was hosted by the Downtown Bangor Partnership in an effort to give families a safe place to trick or treat during daylight hours.
“We’ve had over 800 kids come through in two hours,” New Education Coordinator, Kat Johnson, who was festively dressed as a cat, said.
UMMA has participated in the Trick or Treat event in past years, but according to the Downtown Bangor Partnership, the record-number of participating businesses and organizations made this year’s event the biggest yet.
In addition to M&Ms, Starbursts and other classic Halloween treats, the museum passed out coloring pages. The pages featured an outline of a William Gropper painting titled “Last Crown,” which depicts a skeleton wearing a crown. The handout also included another one of Gropper’s paintings, “Weather Forecast,” and a number of Halloween-themed questions and facts related to the artist to inspire trick-or-treaters to think about art.
Annette Dodd, co-owner of The Rock and Art Shop, was impressed with the number of participating trick-or-treaters. In preparation, Dodd purchased over 1000 pieces of candy, and was down to less than a bowl left by the end of the afternoon.
In addition to creating a safe Halloween celebration for families, the event was held in hopes of bringing new attention to businesses.
“We get exposure from groups of people that wouldn’t normally come to us,” Johnson said, who added that her favorite costume of the afternoon was a “little tiny Yoda.”
As UMMA changes exhibits regularly, Johnson urges students to make a visit.
“The University of Maine Museum of Art is Maine’s premiere museum for modern and contemporary art,” Johnson said.
As well as trick or treating, UMMA offers a number of activities and workshops throughout the year. The next is “Drop and Shop on Small Business Saturday,” an opportunity for children to create art and explore the galleries while parents shop for holiday gifts. The event is Saturday, Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free, a feature that was made possible by a gift from Penobscot Financial Advisors.