By Gretchen Wing
Coming soon to a parking lot near you: skeletons, spider webs, jack-o’-lanterns, and children of all ages dressed to scare or amaze or just make you go, “Awww!” And candy. Don’t forget the candy. This Halloween, Trunk or Treat returns to the heart of Lopez Village.
The event owes its inception to native Lopezian Amy Hatchel, who brought the idea with her when she moved back to Lopez with her family. In their Marysville neighborhood they would get a couple of hundred trick-or-treaters, and her young middle daughter would sit on the porch and pass out treats to the kids. Hatchel says, “She wasn’t much interested in going trick or treating herself, [but] we loved all the kids running around gathering treats, and the interaction with your neighbors that you don’t get any other time of year.” Having encountered a Trunk or Treat event at her daughter’s preschool carnival, Hatchel thought, “We need that on Lopez.”
The first two Halloweens, the Hatchel family organized and ran the entire Trunk or Treat at Grace Church. It was a huge hit, but a lot of work. They then incorporated it with the Community Church’s Harvest Party for a couple of years. Finally, with a small group of dedicated co-organizers, they settled on the current location in the parking lot of Paper, Scissors on the Rock.
The Trunk or Treat Organizing Committee is now comprised of Stephanie Fowler, Paper Scissors on the Rocks’s Ron Hall, Holly B’s Stephanie Smith, Lopez Coffee Shop’s Bridie Spreine and Stephanie Fronig. (Yes—a three-Stephanie committee.) Although organizers are having too much fun to count participants, last year the Paper Scissors on the Rock lot was overflowing onto Tower Road. To address the event’s growing popularity, “Trunkers” can now use both the Paper Scissors on the Rock lot (Carpenter Plaza) and the Holly B’s lot (Village Plaza). But, Ron Hall emphasizes, large attendance is the point, and organizers hope even more people will come.
Says Hall, “One of the nice things about Trunk or Treat is that people who live on long, solitary driveways and wouldn’t get the kids coming to their homes, still have a chance to see the kids in their costumes. Anyone can participate with a car trunk of candy and decorate it up. It is lots of fun.”
Amy Hatchel adds, “My daughters look forward to this every year, and they have had their costumes since August.”
If you would like to be a “Trunker,” no sign-in is required. Set-up starts at 4:30; trunk-or-treating runs 5:30-8 p.m. There is no place to plug in electric lights or music, but candles are fine. Organizers suggest searching “Trunk or Treat” online for great trunk-decorating ideas. And don’t forget to bring lots of candy!