Nacogdoches Main Street axes annual Scare on the Square

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Trick or treaters will be stepping off the bricks of Nacogdoches' Main Street, so adults can dance in the streets.

It's the new plan for the city's main street program. The new festivals of 2014 will be going after the consumer's dollar.

"Festivals change and evolve and you've got to pay attention to what the consumers want - as well as the merchants," said Sarah O'Brien, Nacogdoches' Main Street director. "The cute little costumed kiddos and their parents who show up at the popular scare on the square just don't spend money, and that's something we take very seriously."

So Main Street is axing the 15-year-old event.

"We typically have about 8,500 attendees at Scare on the Square and it's just outgrown itself and our capabilities to control the crowd to make sure everybody is safe is kind of outside our control," O'Brien said. "We wanted to stop it before something happened."

A "Day of the Dead" celebration will be expanded to include kids and adults.

"We are going to do family-friendly children's activities that Friday night and turn that into a week-long celebration which we actually think will help attract people from outside the Nacogdoches community," O'Brien said.

Based on the popularity of the upcoming sold-out Wine Swirl, two new events will center around wine. Festival goers like their booze.

"That's what they're telling us. We started our first annual wine swirl in 2013," O'Brien said. "We sold over 350 tickets in less than two weeks. This year in our second year we sold 500 tickets in less than 6 days and people are just clamoring for us to do another wine swirl."

Salon owner Antonia Garcia likes it when Main Street turns into a mini-Sixth Street, as in Austin. She'll open her door to wine and dine potential customers.

"They get to see your shop where you're at and so they tend to bring new customers in," Garcia said.

New customers are pretty important with sales tax revenue at an all time low.

Parents now have about 8 months to decide how to spend Halloween with their kids. They'll have several opportunities before that to party with their own age group.

Main Street Nacogdoches is still holding onto Shop and Stroll in the spring, its Second-Story tours in May and Wassail Fest after Thanksgiving. All are family-oriented events.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.