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Stew Leonard's to Throw 'Wicked' Halloween Bash

YONKERS, N.Y. - To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Broadway musical "Wicked," retailer Stew Leonard's will hold the first annual "Wicked" Day Block Party on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. outside the Gershwin Theatre at 222 West 51st Street, between Broadway and Eighth Ave. in New York City. The event will feature show performances, face painting, games, the finals of the "Be Wicked" singing contest, and free food courtesy of Stew Leonard's.

On Thursday, Oct. 28, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the retailer's Yonkers store is hosting one of three semi-final competitions in the "Be Wicked" singing contest. Semi-finals were also held Sunday at the Rockaway Square Mall in Rockaway Township, N.J., and will be held Friday at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville, N.Y. on Long Island from 3:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. "Wicked" fans are invited to dress up as their favorite character and perform a song from the show. The nine semi-finalists chosen will move on to perform in the "Be Wicked" finals, judged by "Wicked" director Joe Mantello, casting director Bernie Telsey, and stars of the show.

The grand-prize winner on Oct. 30 will receive "The Ultimate 'Wicked' Party Package," which includes 10 tickets to see the show, dinner, limo, hotel accommodations, "Wicked" merchandise, and a backstage tour.

Meghan Flynn, Stew Leonard's v.p., public relations, told Progressive Grocer that the "Wicked"/Stew Leonard's pairing was a natural one, as the retailer's stores in Yonkers and Danbury and Norwalk, Conn. were located close enough to New York City to make Broadway a viable entertainment option for its shoppers. Besides, "If there was a Broadway for supermarkets, it would be Stew Leonard's," noted Flynn, citing the company's well-known propensity for theater and in-store excitement. She added that the grocer was particularly interested in projects with "all-family appeal," such as the "Wicked" partnership.

According to Flynn, Stew Leonard's expects about 5,000 people to show up at Saturday's free, open-to-the-public block party, which will feature emerald-hued cupcakes and other goodies that will"[turn] the whole block green." She said that if the promotion proves as successful as early signs indicate, it could become an annual event.

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