The 13th annual Ghosts on the Coast celebration packed Reid Avenue last Thursday for the biggest Halloween celebration in Gulf County.

The 13th annual Ghosts on the Coast celebration packed Reid Avenue last Thursday for the biggest Halloween celebration in Gulf County.

Hundreds of revelers in colorful costumes ranging from the classic ghosts and ghouls, to superheroes, to pirates and police officers dotted Port St. Joe’s City Commons Park for costume contests, live music, a fish fry, street games, interactive art and of course, trick-or-treating.

More than $2,000 worth of candy was donated to the Chamber of Commerce and distributed to 50 area businesses that participated in the event.

Business owners handed out candy right from their doors or in the case of off-Reid businesses, the pavilions that were setup along the street.

“Everyone one plays such an important role in making events like Ghosts on the Coast happen, and it truly is a community event,” said Chamber director Paula Pickett.

Marketing for the event has handled by the Tourist Development Council and the costume contest was sponsored by Duke Energy.

Prizes for the contest which awarded kids, adults, families and pets for best costume, were donated by No Name Cafe, Persnickety, Sunset Coastal Grill and Bluewater Outriggers.

Barbara Radcliff, Brenda Miller and Ann Jarosz made the tough calls as judges for the competition.

 Coastal Design and Landscaping provided the decorated trailer that perched the 162 costumed contestants high above the crowd and the Gulf Alliance for Local Arts brought Panama City storyteller Pat Nease to town. The yarn-spinner had a nook full of hay bales where she told frightful stories to any children who were brave enough to take a seat.

The street games, which gave kids a reprieve from the candy line that stretched the length of the avenue, consisted of a ring toss, hay bale bowling, and a cake walk, were organized by the Merchant’s Association to raise additional funds for white Christmas lights that will hang in the trees along Reid during the upcoming holiday season.

Glow sticks for the interactive art installation were donated by Dr. Tim Nelson, Patti Blaylock and Tommy Lake. Live music for the celebration was provided by the Boyer Band, stationed on one end of Reid, and Freddy D and Lola on the other.

“The live music, fish fry, glow stick art project and cake walk were all new events that engaged the people more,” said Pickett. “I am inclined to believe that the crowds simply hung around longer because we provided other things for them to do.

“I did hear from several people that they felt it was the largest crowd yet.”

The Reid Avenue Bunco Babes held a fish fry fundraiser that served approximately 150 meals and raised $1,000 for the Friends of the Port St. Joe Public Library, a cause the group has donated nearly $10,000 in the past three years.

Those who wish to be on the committee for next year’s Ghosts on the Coast can contact the Chamber at 227-1223.