Trunk Or Treat Triumphs!

Halloween event draws monstrous crowd

Photo by Michele Nelson. |

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Monsters, princesses, witches and ghouls came to the annual Trunk or Treat Halloween blast on Main Street by the carload Thursday night.

This year set records, said Parks and Recreation Events Coordinator David Roehrig.

“We closed out at 40 trunks,” he said. “This is the first year we sold out.”

For $25 each, groups in town purchased a spot to set up camp to give out candy to the costumed characters. Organizers provided the candy.

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Roehrig said he expected 2,500 children participated.

And the street looked about that full.

Families lined up to fill plastic pumpkin heads to overflowing.

One 4-year-old had to hand his brimming container to his grandmother.

“He handed it to me and said, ‘Here, grandma, you carry it,’” she said.

This year, churches, service groups like the Key Club, local businesses and even newly formed groups like the Mogollon Ridge Paranormal Group decorated their trunks with canopies, lights, balloon ghosts, fog machines and blow-up creatures. The decorations made the event much more festive.

Over at the Lil’ Stinker booth, the dolls Chucky and his Bride invaded a port-a-potty strewn with spider webs.

“They are my children,” said an employee.

Roehrig said Parks and Rec, along with its co-host Chili’s Restaurant, purchased 1,000 pounds of candy.

“They gave us really good candy this year,” said Colleen Polintse from the paranormal group. “We got lots of chocolate.”

Roehrig also said he expanded the entertainment for all ages by adding a dance in the back patio of the Oxbow Saloon for the older kids and pumpkin bowling for the younger kids.

“The pumpkin bowling was a big hit,” said Roehrig the next morning.

The organizers used actual bowling pins and picked a smaller pumpkin for the little kids, a bigger one for the older kids.

The folks who survived the haunted house emerged onto the back patio to find it festooned with swirling lights and strings of spider lights.

Marlene Armstrong dressed as a gypsy fortuneteller to foretell the futures for anyone interested.

As always, the Payson High School Thespians put on a chilling haunted house taking over the inside of the Oxbow. This year the theme was: haunted orphanage. One character silently stood in a corner next to the bar watching passers-by.

Many screamed.

In another room, a costumed nightmare crawled out from under the bed to snatch a sleeping child.

Roehrig said he used a lot more social media this year to promote the event.

From the crowds milling about, it worked out splendidly.

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