On the weekend before Halloween, downtown Hope will see a combination of events, collectively billed as a “Downtown Fall Fest” by the Hope Downtown Network as the surging group continues its efforts to draw traffic and interest in downtown Hope.

On the weekend before Halloween, downtown Hope will see a combination of events, collectively billed as a “Downtown Fall Fest” by the Hope Downtown Network as the surging group continues its efforts to draw traffic and interest in downtown Hope.
Saturday morning will kick off with another edition of downtown Trade Days from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Network President Bob Erwin said Thursday, “We’ve got 25 vendors committed; we got a good weather forecast, and we are looking for good traffic.”
As previously, the concrete parking lot at the corner of S. Elm Street and W. Division will be the site where the 25 vendors will assemble, forming a version of an outdoor “Mini Mall” of vendor tents and merchandise.
The main event, known locally as Trade Days, had its one year anniversary in September, but saw a lower turnout of both vendors and foot traffic from the year before. In October 2016, the event saw its highest turnout of 55 vendors and estimated foot traffic.
This Saturday, however, a battery of extra events are happening throughout the day, which should bring more traffic and excitement as Halloween and kid’s activities will be happening a block over on Main Street with the annual Flyboy Car Show and Trunk and Treat, where antique cars will be shown with Halloween candy in the truck of many.
Last year, Trunk or Treat hosted by the Flyboys Car Club and Tailgaters featured an estimated 50 cars, with trunks full of candy and a kid’s Halloween costume contest.
Organizer Sharon Caldwell said, “It’s going to be a lot of fun; we’ve got a lot of community support and organizations coming together, and we’ve got a lot more for kids to do with games, candy, and a costume contest.”
After Trade Days finishes around 2 p.m., the day’s later Halloween-themed activities will officially start happening around 6 p.m. and run to about 8 p.m.
Caldwell said “Well, we will probably start have set-ups in the mid-afternoon, and the street will have to be blocked off then for the show, but everything is a go at 6 p.m.”
Caldwell also said there will be a scheduled “Hayride for Kids” with her husband, John, driving people around on a tractor-pull.  John Caldwell is known for often driving a miniature train ride for such downtown events, but he will park the train for an actual hayride for Saturday.
Erwin and Caldwell both envision the events continuing evolution and morphing into a bigger and more formal “Fall Festival,” even taking on that name as the events and participation grow.