GATESVILLE — In spite of impending stormy weather Saturday, the 13th Gatesville Boozaar attracted a remarkable turnout for the downtown festivities.

Attendees and participants agreed it was the largest crowd they had seen at the free Halloween-themed event.

“We’ve been coming to these for years, and I’ve never seen it like this,” Scott Meharg said.

The festival kicked off with a children’s costume contest at the courthouse square. Local businesses, organization and vendors offered a variety of treats, food and games in booths lining the perimeter of the square.

Festival activities extended throughout much of the downtown area, with costume-clad trick-or-treaters of all ages lining the sidewalks to receive candy and treats from local businesses.

Faye Nichols, a librarian at the Gatesville Public Library who has helped organize the event for the past seven years, said Boozaar always draws “an astronomical turnout,” and she expected this year to be no different.

Michele Holden of Hometown Angels, an organization that helps disadvantaged children during the Christmas season, also was pleased with the event’s success.

“I think it’s turned out really well, with a great turnout,” she said.

“With this weather, I’m really surprised about that.”

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