WESTBROOK — Main Street will be invaded by ghosts, superheroes, princesses, witches and other costumed characters later this month as the Westbrook/Gorham Community Chamber of Commerce and the city team up for the annual Halloween on Main Street.

This year’s event will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Main Street will be closed from Spring Street to Bridge Street so trick-or-treaters (and their parents) can go from business to business collecting candy and taking part in other activities. As in previous years, there will be a costume parade and costume contest.

Halloween on Main Street was started 20 years ago as a way to bring people to businesses downtown, but has over the years irked some in the community who claim it backs up traffic and results in little economic benefit for downtown businesses. Other businesses disagree, saying it does attract more customers than normal.

Council Vice President John O’Hara sees it as a positive event for the community and took some time Monday to laud the event during a council discussion about closing off Main Street for the event.

“It really has blossomed into something you folks in Westbrook should never give up. It really is quite an event to see,” said O’Hara, who is hoping to give away 5,000 piece of candy during this year’s event.

He said in talking with the parents at the event, many of the people who attend are not from the city, some coming from as far away as Woolwich.

“What a bridge-building event this is. I don’t think people understand how many people from away bring their children here. Those children will bring their children. It perpetuates,” he said.

Deb Shangraw, a member of the Westbrook/Gorham Community Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, said chamber members will be going door to door next week to encourage businesses to participate.

Michael Kelley can be reached at 781-3661 x 125 or [email protected] or on Twitter @mkelleynews.

Westbrook/Gorham Community Chamber of Commerce’s Halloween on Main Street will take place Friday, Oct. 26, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. A section of Main between Spring and Bridge streets will be closed and traffic will be diverted through William Clarke Drive.