Today's economy can be scary, but one North Country community is using an old Halloween trick to generate more revenue downtown. Our Sarah Hagen takes us to Potsdam's 24th annual Fright Night.
POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Haunted houses, pumpkin carving, Halloween magic shows and much more.
Potsdam Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brenda Thornton said, "It is one night in the year that they give back."
For the businesses, it's a way to say thank you. For the kids who turned out, it's a chance to use their imagination.
Fright Night attendee Rory Sixberry said, "You can dress up in anything in the world and you don't have to look 'normal.' You can look like anything you want."
But besides the fun costumes and the spooky events, business owners say in the end, it is about bringing dollars to the downtown economy.
Northern Music and Video co-owner Jeremy Carney said, "Bottom line for the merchants, really, is to get the families down here not only to have a good time doing it, but also to get them in the store to buy stuff."
Great Northern Printing co-owner Kim Sixberry said, "We have new people moving into our community all the time because of the universities, it gets people downtown that have never seen us before."
And local merchants agree Fright Night is the kickoff for the local holiday shopping season.
Thornton said, "We hope it is just exposure, because it is primarily local people that come to this event. We hope they come, see what is here and then come back."
And although it cost extra company dollars and extra time to participate in Fright Night, business owners said it builds the downtown community and is well worth it.
"It is worth so much more than the money. It is our reputation for doing things for the community," said Kim Sixberry.
Fright Night is one of the largest annual community events in Downtown Potsdam. Several hundred kids participate in the event each year.