‘Trunk or Treat’ gaining interest

Heather Latter

With registration underway for this year’s inaugural “Trunk or Treat” event, local OPP Cst. Anne McCoy is hoping the parking lot of the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre will be packed with decorated vehicles so children can go trick-or-treating Oct. 31 in a fun and safe environment.
“We have seven [vehicles] so far and I want more,” she noted.
The idea of a “Trunk or Treat” sees local businesses, organizations, and individuals sign up a vehicle that they’ll decorate in a Hallowe’en theme, bring to the library parking lot, and then hand out candy as costumed children visit each “trunk.”
The event is being organized by the local Community Policing Committee, along with its community partners, as part of “Project Safe Hallowe’en.”
“We were wanting to do something different, something fun for kids, that promotes safety and community, and that would really get into the festivity of Hallowe’en,” Cst. McCoy explained.
She said the library is drafting up a site plan of the parking lot so when vehicles register, they can be assigned an area.
“So if larger vehicles, such as the command mobile unit or a bus, are coming, then we will have a spot big enough for them,” Cst. McCoy explained, adding they’ll take any vehicle—even a tow truck or a garbage truck.
And she noted the “trunks” can be as creative as you want to make it.
“Whatever your budget is, you can do it,” Cst. McCoy urged. “You can be as extravagant as you want.”
A simple Google image search of “trunk or treat” can offer some brilliant ideas that have been done elsewhere, such as making the vehicle look like a shark or tiger (with the open trunk being the mouth), or having a “Candyland” or “Wizard of Oz” theme.
Cst. McCoy added those hosting the vehicles also are encouraged to dress up and join in the fun.
“Use whatever you have around your house to decorate your vehicle in a Hallowe’en theme and go for it,” she remarked.
“The idea is to be a part of a community event that supports safety for kids.”
That’s why both Sunset Country Ford and the Rainy River District Transportation Services Consortium already have signed up to be involved.
“We wanted to participate because we are an agency that is all about keeping kids safe,” said Nikki Armstrong, manager of transportation services with the RRDTSC, noting National School Bus Safety Week is this week (Oct. 20-24).
“I thought, in addition to the safety presentations at the schools, why not keep with the theme of keeping our kids safe by promoting safety at a fun community outing for both the kids and their parents,” she reasoned.
“We will be handing out candy, of course, but also some bus safety items,” Armstrong added.
“I am really excited that the consortium, along with Iron Range Bus Lines [one of its operators and also supplying the bus to decorate], can be part of promoting a safe community.”
Armstrong didn’t want to give any of their decorating ideas away, but said they’re thinking of doing a haunted school bus for kids to walk through and have a little fun.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and a really good idea to have an event so accessible to the community, as well as a safe place for kids to go trick-or-treating,” echoed Brittany Hayes of Sunset Country Ford.
“It’s also a great opportunity for us to get out into the community,” she added, noting Ford dealerships across Canada are participating in the “We Scare Hunger” food drive campaign.
As such, the local dealership currently is accepting non-perishable food items, where those who donate can be entered to win 1,000 “Go Local” points.
Sunset Country Ford also will be taking food donations at the “Trunk or Treat” celebration.
The collected food then be divvied up and delivered to local food banks Nov. 3.
Hayes said they’re already on top of the decorating ideas for their “Trunk or Treat” vehicle.
“Lacey Carlson is heading up the decorating committee and you should see the spider she has—it’s huge,” Hayes exclaimed.
“We’re very excited to be taking part this year.
“And we challenge other local businesses to participate,” added Hayes, noting she also challenges others to top their costumes, which she said will be both elaborate and spooky.
“Our community partners are really excited about this and how people are coming together to be a part of it,” Cst. McCoy enthused.
“It really shows a sense of community.”
The “Trunk or Treat” celebration will take place Oct. 31 from 4-6 p.m. in the library parking lot.
Those interested in participating can register online at www.rainyriverdistrictcpc.ca or by contacting the library (there is no cost to participate).
Those taking part will be able to set up their vehicles prior to 4 p.m., so they’ll be ready to go when the children start to arrive.
“Each registrant is asked to provide candy for at least 250 children,” noted Cst. McCoy.
“But if cost of candy is an issue, please contact the library,” she added, saying anyone who would like to donate candy can drop it off at the library or at Tess’s Kitchen on Scott Street.
“I know some people have donated to Tess’ event in the past, so if people still want to do that, we are more than happy to make use of the candy,” Cst. McCoy said.
She is expecting “Trunk or Treat” to be a fun-filled event, complete with trophies for trunk decorating.
“They’ll be trophies for the best trunk by a business, as well as the best individual and best agency,” she noted.
The other categories will include best in show, brightest and most visible, spookiest, most creative theme, most original, and the funniest.
Prizes will be awarded to the top winner in each category.
“And if there are any ties, the winner will be determined by a Gangnam style dance-off,” Cst. McCoy laughed.
The “Trunk or Treat” event also will include the display of pumpkins for a pumpkin-carving contest.
“It will be the extreme pumpkin- carving contest,” said Nicke Baird, executive director of NCDS here.
“We encourage businesses and citizens to submit their most creative carvings.”
All registered pumpkins must be dropped off at the library by 3 p.m. on Oct. 30.
Meanwhile, the library also will present a Hallowe’en Fashion Show–Zombie Cat Walk, which will take place at 5 p.m. during “Trunk or Treat.”
To sign up for either of these, register online at www.rainyriverdistrictcpc.ca or call the library.
And in conjunction with “Trunk or Treat,” a community spaghetti take-out dinner will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the Memorial Sports Centre auditorium.
Tickets cost $5/person (those four and under free), which will be available at the door.
All proceeds will go to support youth initiatives by the Rainy River District Community Policing Committee.