Trunk or Treat 4.0
Community celebration resumes after pandemic pause
After being cancelled last year because of COVID-19, the annual pre-Halloween "Trunk or Treat" celebration at Holyoke Community College will return this season on Friday, Oct. 29.
HCC's 2021 Trunk or Treat event will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in Parking Lot R on the main HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave. Families can park in adjoining lots nearby by the Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation.
More than 30 HCC clubs, departments, programs, area businesses and community groups have signed up to decorate vehicles for this year's event, organized by HCC's Education Department and Student Activities.
"We are thrilled that Trunk or Treat is back," said professor Sheila Gould, director of HCC's Early Childhood Education program. "The community has been asking about it since mid-summer. This year we have well over 30 cars signed up, including community groups, such as Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start, which is doing a Curious George-themed display and Dean Technical High School, which is doing creepy careers."
Trunk or Treat at HCC started in 2017 as a safe, fun, and early alternative to traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Rather than going door to door seeking Halloween treats, children go "trunk to trunk" to collect their candy, visiting cars decorated with seasonal themes and familiar stories and characters.
Each vehicle will be handing out free Halloween treats and also have non-food items for children with dietary restrictions.The event is free and open to the public and will be held outdoors, rain or shine. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Vehicles will be well spaced to allow for families to socially distance as they make their rounds.
According to HCC policy, all unvaccinated persons are required to wear masks while on the campus.
So, far, this year's vehicle sponsors include:From HCC: Education Department, Institutional Advancement, Admissions, Vet Tech and Animal Science Dept; Psychology Club, Anime Club, ASL Club, Student Senate, WCCH Radio Club, Disney Club, Student Records.
From the surrounding community: Farmasi by Brittany, Holyoke Chicks with Sticks, Dean Technical High School, Center School/Positive Regard Network, Elms College, Holyoke Public Schools Early Childhood, Education, Valley Opportunity Council, Holyoke YMCA, CHD Mental Health Services, YWCA of Western Mass., Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass., Holyoke Police Dept.
Prizes will be awarded to vehicle sponsors in various categories including Best Executed Theme, Scariest Trunk, Best Costumes and Most Original.
"Kids should be sure not to miss the voting station, where they can cast ballots for their favorite trunk to win the Kids' Choice Award," Gould said.
PHOTOS: Scenes from HCC's last Trunk or Treat event in 2019.