A safe, spooky Halloween alternative
The very utterance of the words "trick or treat" conjures visions of cold nights with the footsteps of youths dressed in ghoulish garb echoing into the darkness. Most children who partake in Halloween festivities go trick-or-treating, or the act of knocking at person's door to ask for candy.
Yet some may feel uneasy letting younger children roam through the streets of an unfamiliar neighborhood. Live Oak High School is offering locals an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating this Halloween.
Trunk or Treat has been a fall fixture at LOHS for the past three years. The event is a twist on the basic premise of trick-or-treating. In the school's parking lot, LOHS students park their vehicles with the trunks facing in a fashion so trick-or-treaters can easily maneuver from vehicle to vehicle.
Students decorate their cars in a variety of ways and may also dress in costumes and masks. Visitors pass by all the vehicles where students hand out candies. Trunk or Treat essentially takes the typical suburban neighborhood and condenses it into the LOHS parking lot.
LOHS Principal Mat Gulbrandsen outlined the details of Trunk or Treat: "We wanted the opportunity for students to give back by providing a safe and fun trick-or-treat experience. We took the idea from churches." He also emphasized the community-service aspect of the event, as seniors who volunteer receive credit toward their senior project.
Students generally enjoy the opportunity to indulge in childhood memories while benefiting the community. Senior Mayra Moreno, 17, said, "I'm involved with Trunk or Treat. It's definitely a beneficial experience for all participants. Parents won't have to worry about their children's safety, and they know they'll be having fun."
Not all parents are aware of Trunk or Treat, however. Sadie Britt, local mother of a third-grade child, said, "I've lived here for four years, but I haven't visited the Trunk or Treat event, although it sounds like a wonderful alternative for families."
When asked about her expectations, Britt said, " It can't be too scary. I know that many houses are decorated with adult (Halloween) content that may frighten some younger children."
This year's Trunk or Treat will highlight some key features. The LOHS parking lot, which was newly renovated last year, contains extra space to accommodate more cars. Gulbrandsen said, "Before the parking lot was renovated, our old one limited the event to about 20 cars. Now the amount of vehicles can double to 40 to 50, which will allow more people to be involved."
There will also be a costume contest for the best-dressed visitors and a prize for the best trunk decorations.
Youths ages 12 and younger are warmly welcomed to attend Trunk or Treat starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Live Oak High School parking lot, 2351 Pennington Road, Live Oak. Candy will be given until it runs out. Be sure to stop by and support the community in having a safe and enjoyable Halloween this year.
Ciria Salazar is a senior at Live Oak High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.