Record number of exhibitors participate in Hoover Hayride

HOOVER – The annual Hoover Hayride and Family Night drew thousands of visitors to Veterans Park off Valleydale Road for trick-or-treating with a record number of exhibitors and much more fun on Thursday, Oct. 26.

“It’s just a great night for friends and families to gather out at the park for a safe night of trick-or-treating and spending time together,” city of Hoover Events Coordinator Erin Colbaugh said.

There was a record 95 exhibitors at the event. Exhibitors are Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce members who set up booths to hand out candy and other goodies to children dressed in their Halloween costumes.

The exhibitors were spread out under three large tents.

Miguel and Brittany Francis live along the U.S. 280 corridor and attended the event with their daughters, Kelsey and Alexa.

Miguel Francis said he is glad to have an opportunity for the girls to trick-or treat.

“We’ve enjoyed just going around and seeing the festivities,” he said.

A new addition to this year’s event was a wide variety of food trucks that were on site for families interested in purchasing dinner at the park.

Bret Gray, father of 3-year-old Avery and 1-year-old Memphis, said his family visited from Homewood for the first time.

“The boys are having a lot of fun,” Bret Gray said.

After gathering lots of candy, Avery knew what was next on the agenda.

“I want a cupcake!,” he said.

Other new attractions included 6th Day Creatures, which had several different animals on-site for children to see and interact with, as well as a DJ on stage that played music and games for participants.

6th Day Creatures brought spiders, snakes and even a chinchilla, a rodent native to South America that looks similar to a squirrel or rabbit.

There was also a hayride, free cotton candy, face painting and balloon animals.

Admission was free, and the only cost for families was food and beverages purchased from the vendors.

Visit ShelbyCountyPhotos.com to view and purchase photos from the event.