Grove City's Boo on Broadway will be an off-Broadway production this year.

The annual alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating will be moved from Broadway to the Promenade, the parking lot west of Broadway between Park Street and Grant Avenue.

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

"It's one of our smaller events, so we're trying to see if it works on the Promenade," recreation supervisor Kelly Sutherland said. "The big thing is this allows us to avoid shutting down 62."

"Having to divert traffic around Broadway causes its own issues, especially with truck traffic," she said.

With this year's event being held off Broadway, no road closures are planned, with the possible exception of a portion of Park Street, "and I don't think that will be needed," Sutherland said.

The event is sponsored by Grove City Parks and Recreation.

Businesses and local organizations will distribute candy and other treats to youngsters from tables on the Promenade.

"It's an alternative that a lot of parents feel safer bringing their children to, rather than having to go door-to-door and watching for traffic in the dark," Sutherland said.

The traditional Beggars Night treat- seeking will take place at the same time as Boo on Broadway throughout Grove City, she said.

Residents who choose to distribute treats should turn on their porch lights between 6 and 8 p.m. Drivers are encouraged to watch for young pedestrians.

Twenty businesses and organizations have signed up so far to give out candy at Boo on Broadway.

"We have space for 25 tables, so there are still some slots left" as of Oct. 23, Sutherland said.

Anyone interested in participating may call the parks and recreation office at 614-277-3050 to receive an application, she said.

Businesses and organizations can sign up through Oct. 30, if table space is available.

One annual Boo on Broadway feature that won't be included this year is the display of a giant pumpkin grown by Gary Liff.

Liff, who owns Limbs and Leaves Tree Farm in Pickaway County, has been bringing a giant pumpkin to Boo On Broadway for several years.

He was planning to do so this year, until the morning of Aug. 12.

"We came out that morning and found the blossom end of the pumpkin had split. It was just rotted away," Liff said."It was really disappointing, especially with all the work you put in."

The pumpkin had reached a weight of about 920 pounds "and growing," he said. "It would have been in the 1,200- to 1,400-pound range."

What exactly caused the pumpkin to split is hard to determine, Liff said.

"It could have been that I was pushing it too hard, putting in too much fertilizer trying to make it grow," he said. "It wasn't a good year for growing pumpkins with all the wet weather we had in the spring."

A fungus or perhaps a genetic issue could have caused the problem, Liff said.

Two other pumpkins he was attempting to grow to super-size also split this year, one at 400 pounds and the other at 120 pounds, he said.

Liff said he has decided to retire from growing giant pumpkins, although he will continue to work as a farmer.

"I've been intending to stop (growing giant pumpkins) the last two years, but I kept doing it," he said. "I finally decided I've had enough. It's a lot of hard work. It's a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of stress.

"I've been growing giant pumpkins for nine years, and seven of those years I've had no problem," Liff said. "Seven out of nine's a pretty good average to retire on."

Liff called the city Oct. 23 to break the news about his pumpkin.

Sutherland said she will try to find another grower who can bring a giant pumpkin to Boo on Broadway, but it's unlikely arrangements can be made so late in the month and after the Circleville Pumpkin Show has been held.

"We'll try, but people shouldn't get their hopes up," she said.

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