Lexington business owners put on 4th annual Boo Bash

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- A Halloween tradition in Lexington has become an opportunity for local businesses to give back to the community that supports them.

More than 60 businesses handed out candy to trick-or-treaters during Tuesday's fourth annual Boo Bash in Uptown Lexington.

There was also live music and pumpkin painting, and the whole thing was free to the community.

Business owners take money out of their own pockets to put on this event, but they say their businesses benefit in a different way.

"The excitement is contagious," said Melissa Sheets, a photographer at Real Life Photography.

Local businesses have prepared for weeks, anticipating 11,000 people to show up to Tuesday's Boo Bash.

"It's a really good family-fun event," Sheets said.

Uptown Lexington, a local nonprofit group working to revitalize the city, plans the event. But the businesses make it happen, setting up on the sidewalk to hand out candy and offer free activities to families.

Some businesses stayed open later than usual. They didn't anticipate making any money, but they say that's not what the event is about.

"Most of them are just here to give back to the community in some way," said Rebekah McGee, the executive director of Uptown Lexington.

It's a way to thank current clients and bring in new ones.

"Well get people here from Winston[-Salem], Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington. We've had people come from out of state," McGee said.

"It is really, truly about exposure," said Sheets.

Because what's happening in Lexington is only possible because of the community's support.

"We're kind of seeing a renaissance here downtown with our events, with our businesses," McGee said.

"Small businesses in small towns, we would be nothing is it wasn't for our clients," Sheets said. "They are who keep our electricity on. They're who make it fun to come to work everyday."