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Craig Smith

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association.

...Or not, depending on your perspective, but Halloween is right around the corner.

Downtown Napa will celebrate by offering children a safe and easy way to trick or treat. Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., 40 downtown businesses are inviting all costumed ghouls and goblins to stop by for trick or treating.

Black and orange balloons outside of a store are screaming, “Come on in!” for treats. Some businesses go all out with decorations and/or staff costumes. All share the spirit of the day and can’t wait for the little ones to stop by.

Characters from Disney and movies that conjure up the Halloween spirit will be available for photos.

The staff from the Bank of Napa has invited Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming, Merryweather, Flora and Fauna to pose for photos with trick or treaters.

They’ve also asked Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit to join in the fun.

Look for characters outside Eiko’s, in Dwight Murray Plaza near Jax Diner, at the Big Chair in the breezeway of the Riverfront Building on Main Street and in the Oxbow Commons, near the Oxbow Public Market.

Speaking of the Commons…

This year, the City of Napa is hosting the first “Ox BOO Festival” in the Oxbow Commons (on McKinstry Street between the Oxbow Public Market and the Wine Train.)

The fun starts Sat., Oct. 29, with a DJ from 8 a.m. to noon, and 80s cover-band Hairstrike performing from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. There will be inflatables, crafts, games and activities for the kids. Festival foods will be available all day.

If you are up for an organized morning run, the Zombie Run is a way to get your exercise and help support community causes. Visit for details and registration.

If you are interested in a less strenuous activity, how about building and racing a coffin in the annual Coffin Race?

Still too much? Then just watch and enjoy. Visit for details. Proceeds from the Zombie Run and Coffin Races benefit community youth programs.

Last but not least, there will be lots of public safety and emergency vehicles in the “Touch a Truck” area.

This may be just the inspiration your little goblin needs to one day trade in his or her costume for a firefighter’s or police officer’s uniform.

What a perfect Halloween!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

I know, it seems awfully early to talk about Christmas, but some people need time preparing their parade entry.

This year’s parade theme is Bright Lights, Christmas Delights. Applications can be found at for the Nov. 26 parade.

Cash awards of $500 each will be given in three categories. Entry in the parade is free. If you aren’t in the parade, you have to come watch it.

See you downtown!

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Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association. Reach him at 257-0322 or