Trunk or Treat planning underway at FFPLTC

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Rejoice, children and Halloween aficionados alike, the spookiest day of the year is fast approaching, and the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre (FFPLTC) is in full-on planning mode for another fun-filled and safe Trunk or Treat night.

FFPLTC CEO Joan MacLean shared that planning is indeed well underway for this year’s event, again scheduled for from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Halloween Day, which falls on Monday, October 31, 2022. Like in years past, the plan is to have as many participants fill up the library’s parking lot as possible to provide a safe space for children and families to go trick or treating and get spooky surprises or tasty snacks from participating businesses, organizations and individuals.

“It’s still kind of early days, but we have done some behind-the-scenes work and are reaching out for some corporate donations,” MacLean said.

“We’re waiting for those to come in. I’ve also received a grant from Enbridge, who approached me and said that we were an agency to help do good in the community, so after a very easy application online we received $2,000 from Enbridge. We’re really excited about that.”

The money coming in from Enbridge, as well as a few other grant possibilities MacLean is eyeing, means that the library will be able to better stock their candy supplies for the Trunk or Treat night, which she said is crucial following a bit of a slump in both candy and monetary donations in 2021.

This year, in addition to again asking for more of both donations from the community, MacLean also said they should be able to return to a bit of a more freeform format for the event following some restrictions levied by the Northwestern Health Unit on last year’s Trunk or Treat.

“Because of COVID restrictions last year, we had to have people lining all at once on one side and the Health Unit told us we had to have everybody going in one direction as well, so we had arrows and everything,” she said.

“So far, we’ve heard nothing from the Health Unit about anything being different from a normal year, so we’re hoping for a return to normal. Also, we’re planning to have events inside this year, which we haven’t had since 2019. This year it will be in cooperation with the Health Unit, a little bit of a game in the Kid’s Department with prizes and candy, and then a photo booth.”

MacLean also stressed that the prizes for participants and visitors will return, straight from the library’s 3D printer, as they have in the past. Previous years have included categories like “Best Dressed” or “Scariest” trunks and costumes, encouraging everyone to get into the Halloween spirit.

As September comes to a chilly close and the creepy moans of October begin to reverberate, MacLean says it’s not too early to contact the library to register a trunk for the Halloween event. The library is also open to anyone looking to drop off donations of candy or money to help the event be as successful as possible, especially because the library works to ensure each trunk is kept well stocked of candy in addition to the boxes each organization or business brings themselves.

“You can bring your own candy and give that out, but when you run out, because people donate both candy and money to the library for Trunk or Treat, we buy candy with the money,” MacLean said.

“We take the candy and separate it all out into wheely baskets and our volunteers, who this year are the Lakers, will run the candy out to the trunks. Each trunk must have a container to put the candy in so we can bring the baskets back and run more candy out. We’re ready and will take donations as soon as they come.”

While some may bemoan the absence of door-to-door trick or treating like was done in the past, MacLean said having the event at the library as a centralized holiday hub just makes sense.

“Especially for the little kids,” MacLean continued.

“They don’t have to cross the street, because we all know when you’re with little kids, sometimes they get so excited that they’ll just run out, and it is going to be near dark or dark when they’re here, and tripping over costumes, or what if it rains that night, because it does rain on Halloween night; oftentimes it snows. It just makes sense to have everybody in a lighted parking lot, but it’s still spooky enough for everyone and keeps them safe.”

The library is also looking for more volunteers to both help sort out the candy before Halloween, as well as to help the event run smoothly on Halloween night. Anyone interested in volunteering can call the library at 274-9879. MacLean also promised that all volunteers will be finished up with their work by 8:00 p.m. on Halloween night.

“My first year here, we were walking out the door, all of us at the same time, at 8:00 that night,” she said,.

“Every other year we have made sure it was out the door at 8:00.”