Saturday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. the Hope Town Square will be the gathering place for Goodies, Goblins and Ghost Stories.

The annual event is guaranteed to offer treats for goblins, ghosts and ghouls of all ages.

Organized by Hope Branch Library manager and area resident Dave Miller, the annual event is expected to draw more than 200 people to the Town Square - weather permitting.

Miller says his involvement with the event became more prominent when he took it over a couple of years ago following the passing of former HSJ owner, Larry Simpson.

"Certainly when Larry Simpson passed away it left a gaping hole in all the events and festivities in town because he was so critically involved with that," Miller says. "The best way to honor Larry's legacy is to get involved and find that thing or those things you are passionate about - that they should continue as is or they need to change. Get involved with those and make a difference in the community."

Miller's passion for the Halloween event is three-fold, from costumes and candy to storytelling.

"I felt really passionate about it because I like Halloween," he says. "And dressing up and getting candy is the whole point about being a kid."

The family-friendly event dovetails nicely with Hope's self-identity as heritage and "old-timey" celebrations, Miller says. And it is unique in that it is something different from other area events.

Miller credits the assistance of area organizations offering their energy and expertise to make festival possible, he says.

"Like any of these events, it doesn't happen with one person," Miller says. "We have a lot of groups working with me to make sure this is happening, including Main Street of Hope, the Bartholomew County Public Library, WILLow LeaVes of Hope and the Yellow Trail Museum."

Vickie Tedder, co-owner of WILLow LeaVes of Hope, says the event is reminiscent of a family-friendly yesteryear celebration. Tedder says her family's business will be offering apple cider, carmel corn and candy to the trick-or-treaters and their families.

"When you're doing a festival thing with more than your family it seems like a big party," Tedder says. "The kids are out trick-or-treating and you try to do so much as a business owner to be involved. It is so neat, whenever we have these festivals on the square; it is simple fun. Having multiple families gathering together, like we used to do at church, I love it and I want to be a part of it."

Children are encouraged to attend the free event in costume, Miller says.

The festival will feature a costume parade, trunk-or-treat on the North side of the Square, hayrides through the town with spooky stories, a campfire with s'mores, a pumpkin painting station at the shelter house and more, Miller says.

"Main Street of Hope will have a straw maze and games," he says. "We will also have professional story tellers at the bandstand, the Yellow Trail Museum will offer their 'Night at the Museum' where the exhibits come to life, and we will have the Cabinet of Curiosities offered by Chuck Baker."

Although it is primarily geared toward children from pre-kindergarten to elementary school age, Miller says the event offers something for everyone.

"That is the target audience, but that doesn't mean that people from 2 to 90 years old won't enjoy it," he says. "This is a take on the events of yesteryear. The hayrides reference various points in Hope's past and harkens back to the old timey things like fortune tellers and oddities. It is not about special effects and blood and gore. The intention is everyone can come out and find something they enjoy."

Miller adds that area residents who would like to take part in the trunk-or-treating are invited show up.

"We are always looking for people to participate in the trunk-or-treat," he says. "So if anyone wants to pull their car around and have candy for the little ones they can feel free to show up the day of and we won't turn them away."