While it might seem that in some stores, Christmas decorations are trying to edge out Halloween, Trunk or Treat does come first.
As do a host of other Halloween happenings around the Rim Country.
Rose Harper has been putting on Trunk or Treat for Pine and Strawberry youth for 17 years.
Oct. 27 will be the eighteenth time she has organized the event and she has the costume contest down to a science.
"We generally see about 75 kids," Harper said.
Only when the costumed children arrive, do the judges-without-children decide what costume categories to use, but judges generally arrange children into four or five age groups, Harper said.
The contest is in Strawberry and is open to infants through sixth-grade children.
First-, second- and third-place winners are awarded $5, $3 and $2 respectively.
"Everyone else gets a dollar," Harper said.
The grand prize is $20.
Cleverly costumed children who live in the Pine-Strawberry area are asked to meet at 5 p.m., in the upper parking lot of prize sponsor ERA/Young Realty, located on the northwest corner of the 87 and Fossil Creek Road in Strawberry.
Costumes are judged at 5:30 p.m., plus Harper gives out other prizes and raffles throughout the contest.
At 6 p.m., members of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue usher the children across the road to the front of the old Strawberry Market where local residents are lined up in their vehicles to hand out treats.
Residents supply their own candy. They do not need to sign up, but they do need to be in place by 6 p.m.
The event is free.
Participating businesses in Pine will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28 for trick or treaters to feed their sweet tooth during the Fall Festival.
Trunksful of candy at Rumsey Park
"Dress in your favorite costume and join us for Halloween festivities," Deb Rose, Payson Parks and Recreation Coordinator said.
There will be music, candy and fun in north Rumsey Park from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Spooky music will waft across the park as disc jockey Fred Carpenter spins up howling good tunes.
Power Rangers, princesses and pirates can get their dancing shoes out for the Monster Mash.
KCMA will be participating as well, passing out candy.
The Optimist Club will be serving food.
Games were not a hit last year, Rose said, but Parks and Recreation has planned a Fun House and a fortune teller will be on site to tell what the future will bring (sugar rushes, guessing games as to where Mom hid the candy, plans for next year's costume).
This year's contest is not for costumed tricksters, instead, it is a challenge to the businesses dropping candy into children's treat bags and plastic jack-o'-lanterns.
Trunk contest categories are: Scariest, Funniest, Most Creative and Best in Show.
The Parks department supplies the candy and at press time there, a few trunk spots remained. Contact Deb Rose, (928) 474-5242 ext. 7 if interested.
The event is free.
Adults just wanna have fun
Adults can get their spook on at the Halloween Dance at the Mazatzal Mansion.
The Casino transforms Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27 into a frightfully good place for costumed vampires and saloon girls, cowboys and bewitchingly lovely cowgirls to dance.
3 of a Kind is the featured band.
Doors open at 8 p.m.
More than $3,000 will go home in the pockets of the best-costumed Halloween celebrants, courtesy of the Mazatzal Casino.
Tickets go on sale Oct. 19 on the Mazatzal Casino Gift Shop.
Halloween safety tips
"We can keep Halloween safe for everyone by taking a few easy precautions. Our vision can be compromised by costume accessories, make-up, or simply by being out at night without proper lighting," said Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of Prevent Blindness America.
Prevent Blindness America also recommends the following:
• Always wear hypoallergenic or nontoxic makeup. Only adults should apply the make-up to children and remove it with cold cream or eye make-up remover instead of soap.
• False eyelashes and costume makeup can also irritate eyes.It's very important to follow the directions on the product package on how to apply and remove safely.
- Never wear costumes that could block vision, such as some masks, wigs, hats or eye patches.
- Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and falling.
- Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway such as hoses, potted plants, etc.Make sure jack-o'-lanterns are also placed out of the way.
• Look for costumes made of flame-retardant material.
• Avoid props or accessories that have sharp edges or pointed ends such as pitchforks, spears, knives, swords or wands.
- When trick-or-treating, always wear bright, reflective clothing or decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape/patches. Carry a bright flashlight to improve visibility.
• Always accompany children while trick-or-treating.Only go to houses you are familiar with and only visit homes that have the porch light on.
• Carefully examine all trick-or-treat items for signs of tampering before allowing children to eat them. nspect any toys or novelty items received by kids age 3 and younger, as they may pose a choking hazard.