NORMAL -- Halloween will get a kick start this weekend when monsters and goblins haunt a portion of Constitution Trail.
The Normal Parks and Recreation Haunted Trail will kick off Friday for two nights of "non-scary" trails appropriate for children. A "scary" version will premiere its two-night run on Oct. 23.
The Haunted Trail is open from 6 to 8 p.m. those Friday and Saturday nights and limited to 1,500 people each night. Cost is $1 per person but this weekend only, each participant can get in free with a can of food. Children 1 and under are always free.
The lineup starts along the trail behind Normal City Hall, 100 E. Phoenix Ave.
Construction in the City Hall parking lot mean parking there will be limited. However, overflow parking is planned at Chiddix Junior High School, 300 S. Walnut St., with free shuttle transportation to City Hall.
A hayride will take participants from the end of the trail (by the parks and recreation office, 611 S. Linden St.) to Chiddix or City Hall.
Those who dare to travel down the Haunted Trail will find some treats at the end. Joel Dickerson, aquatics/special events supervisor for parks and recreation, said all children attending this weekend will get free glow necklaces and coloring books.
There also will be free face painting by the Zoo Lady, free tattoos and free hot chocolate both weekends.
For a nominal fee, participants also can get their picture taken with a monster, Dickerson said. The monsters even will autograph the picture, he said.
Several mascots, including Corny, the mascot for the CornBelters minor league baseball team, also will greet people at the end of the trail.
About 250 people will volunteer at the trail during its two-weekend run, Dickerson said.