By J. Patrick O’Leary
Trunk or Treat will mark its eighth year on Saturday, Oct. 27, 4 to 6 p.m., on The Green, 7101 W. 38th Ave.
Billed by Localworks as a fun, safe trick or treat for kids and their families with participation from firefighters, the police, businesses and community members, the free event boasts games, a car-trunk-decorating contest and, of course, candy.
What started as two parents’ attempt to continue an annual children’s Halloween party after Martensen Elementary School’s closure has grown into a community-wide celebration attracting crowds of more than 3,000 people.
This year, Localworks has added a photo station where guests can capture a great picture of their costume-bedecked family, with a choice of two backdrops.
“We are also trying out a new line set up to help make the line for trick-or-treating run more smoothly,” said Localworks’ Ashley Holland.
Destination Dance will kick off the event by teaching revelers to dance, then performing, a zombie-themed “Thriller” dance. The Wheat Ridge Kiwanis Club will once again set up and run games during the event.
Kim Harr and her husband Chad are credited with creating the event. She served on the local PTA when Martensen closed down, which put an end to the school’s annual Halloween party. The couple wanted to continue the celebration, which featured candy distributed from the trunks of automobiles decorated for the holiday. The revitalization of 38th Avenue had just begun, so the parking lot of the Wheat Ridge middle school was an ideal location.
The Harrs paid for printing and posters out of their own pocket. Then-chief Kelly Brooks of the Wheat Ridge Fire Department stepped in to help, as did then-board-member Tom Abbot of Wheat Ridge 2020 and then-city-councilor Joyce Jay.
The inaugural party attracted 200 kids and eight cars, according to Harr.
Last year there were about 4,000 people, 15 volunteers and 35 cars, according to Localworks. This year crowds are expected to be the same.
Costumed revelers need only show up to participate in the free event. People wanting to decorate their vehicle and hand out treats can sign up on the Ridge at 38 web site, at ridgeat38.com/trunk-or-treat/.
Trunk or Treat requires a lot of candy, so donations are needed. Drop-off locations include the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling St.; Brewery Rickoli, 4335 Wadsworth Blvd.; Personal Achievement Martial Arts, 3964 Youngfield St.; Wheat Ridge City Hall, 7500 W. 29th Ave.; Clear Creek Office Park, 4251 Kipling St., 2nd Floor lobby.
Businesses wanting to collect candy for the event are asked to contact Carolyn Doran at CDoran@WeAreLocalworks.org.
As always, the event wraps up by 6 p.m. – to allow people to safely enter and exit the parking lots, while it’s still light. It also saves the cost of setting up lights.
For more information, visit ridgeat38.com/trunk-or-treat/; contact Localworks at 720-259-1030; or email Carol Doran at CDoran@WeAreLocalworks.org.