When it comes to throwing an imaginative trick-or-treating hallmark event for their kids, Parkrose businesses have their eyes on the ball.
Though the Parkrose Business Association heads Parkrose’s annual Trunk or Treat—a makeshift trick-or-treating destination spread throughout the Parkrose High School parking lot—as its signature event, the event would be impossible without its backbone of 35 participating local businesses.
Trunk or Treat’s four main sponsors are the same as last year: Brown’s Point S Tire & Auto Service, Parkrose Hardware, Grocery Outlet and Argay Square. Its recipe is simple.
“Imagine a parking lot, and each vehicle has their trunk open,” says Kristin D. Trevino, committee coordinator for Trunk or Treat and member of the PBA board. “You enter the parking lot, and you’ll see pop-up tents and cars with their trunks open, and they’re decorated. The kids just follow the leader and go in a line around the parking lot picking up candy. The businesses have really gotten into decorating, and it’s just really fun. We’ve had a dentist dressed up as the tooth fairy, and he decorated his trunk with teeth.”
Now in its third year, Trunk or Treat expects a bigger turnout than previous years, mainly based on its observation of a steady growth pattern since its inception in 2015. The first year saw between 400 and 500 kids, according to Trevino, even though the weather was a “full-on monsoon.” The second year saw an increase to just over 1,000 kids. Trevino notes that the event sticks to a healthy ethos that promises action despite rain or shine. After all, it is the Pacific Northwest.
“We were pleasantly surprised to see how many kids showed up the first year. The first year we had 25 businesses participate, and the second year we had 35 businesses, including the fire department and local police, show up to hand out candy.”
And while the coffee cart that aided attending parents in its freshman year likely won’t reappear for year three, Trevino does mention benefits for parents who might otherwise be twiddling their thumbs from the sidelines.
“The 35 businesses can promote themselves. The first year, the Burgerville near the high school passed out coupons for one free burger. There was no stipulation, and after the event, the Burgerville was very busy with customers—people weren’t just there for burgers but for meals for their families. There are benefits there, but everybody understands the main goal is that this is a free ‘giveback’ [for the community].”
In addition to free coupons, kids and parents alike can also enjoy nostalgic, atmospheric Halloween hits as presented by Sir Kenneth DJ, a local DJ who typically provides tunes for weddings. Sir Kenneth DJ will also host a costume contest.
Trunk or Treat is marketed to kids from newborn to 12 years—and it’s worth their while.
“We hand out glow sticks and all kinds of fun trinkets besides just a goodie bag of candy,” explains Trevino.
And while Trevino admits that Trunk or Treat would be nothing without the steady collaboration of local businesses, she also believes the mechanics of the event depend on the trick-or-treaters themselves.
“The first two years, it just organized itself. The kids kind of followed the leader, whoever started wherever—the line just began. We’ve had zero problems or concerns. We end at 6 [p.m.] before it gets dark.”
Trunk or Treat will stick to its adopted schedule and is planned for the last Sunday of October. This year, it will be held on Sunday, Oct. 29th at Parkrose High School from 4 to 6 p.m.