The Sherman Police Department is asking organizations and businesses which plan to participate in Fright Fest 2017 to contact the department well ahead of the family-friendly Halloween celebration next month.


This year’s Fright Fest is free to the public and will be held on Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lucy Kidd-Key Park on the grounds of the Sherman Municipal Building. Sgt. D.M. Hampton said the sooner interested groups can contact the department and outline their plans, the better.


“We just ask individuals, businesses, groups, churches, schools and anybody like that who wants to come out and set up a booth to get in touch with us and give us an idea of what they’re planning and what they’re going to need,” Hampton said.


Fright Fest was started in 2001 in response to Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and is designed to provide families with a safe environment where children can celebrate Halloween and collect candy.


Participants are asked to send an email to dmh@ci.sherman.tx.us with the name of the group or individual to be represented, contact information — including a phone number and email address — for a representative who will attend the event, a brief overview of how the booth or station will be set up, whether an electrical hook-up is needed and a list of any special requests or accommodations. The cut-off date for groups to notify the department of their participation in the event is Oct. 24. Vendors are not permitted to sell any items at the event.


Hampton encouraged those taking part in this year’s celebration to expect thousands of visitors and to purchase plenty of treats ahead of time.


“It’s going to take several hundred dollars worth of candy,” Hampton said. “I always tell people that I’m not a marketing expert, but for that little of an investment and for the kind of exposure you’ll get, it’s well worth it.”


Hampton said the event will be moved to the Midway Mall if the weather take a turn for the worse. Regardless of the venue, Hampton said the young trick-or-treaters will go home happy.


“It’s almost criminal how much candy these kids will take away from this event,” Hampton said.