Trunk Or Treat By Keith

Steve McKellips and his kids, Stephen, Arabella and Daenerys were among an estimated 2,000 people that showed up for the Town of Payson's Trunk Or Treat event at Payson Event Center on Thursday night.

Payson’s annual Trunk or Treat event seems to have finally found a home.

Positive reviews abounded on Halloween night as the popular event took place at the Payson Event Center after the town set it up at various locations over the years. Green Valley Park served as the location the previous two years.

“We got a lot of great feedback on it, so we’ll probably be keeping it here again next year,” said Payson Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Courtney Spawn.

“There’s just more space, so it doesn’t feel as crowded. And there’s a lot more parking availability.”

Spawn says approximately 2,000 people ventured out on a night with temperatures threatening to fall into the 30s before the three-hour event ended.

Patrons gave great reviews for the event’s new venue, citing abundant parking room and room to move around from one activity to the next.

The event featured vendor booths with Halloween themes, along with residents handing out candy from the “trunks” of their vehicles, an inflatable Corn Maze and four tractors that proved popular for photos of children sitting in the driver’s seat.

That included Daenerys McKellips, 6, who couldn’t stop smiling as she imagined driving the 1941 Oliver 60 RC. She was there with her father, Steve, sister Arabella, 15, and brother Stephen, 4.

They approved of the new venue.

“I’ve come every year they’ve had it and this is the best so far,” Steve said. “There’s more space, more parking, more vendors, better lighting, it’s a better environment, better all around.”

The cold didn’t bother Steve.

“I’m warm as can be,” he said. “I brought the warmest suit I could find.”

But Stephen was ready to go home and warm up an hour before closing.

“He forgot his gloves,” his dad said.

Two of the four tractors — the Oliver and a 1935 John Deere — belong to Red and Judy Ronnebaum. They’re just two of the Rim Country residents who pitched in to help make it a fun event.

“It is cold, that’s for sure, but they had a lot of people through here tonight,” Red said.

It’s not the first time the event has been held at the event center, but it has moved around town a lot over the years. Spawn likes the venue and is confident in the event’s future.

“We’re not confined by space, so we can always grow from here and just make it a bit better experience for everybody next year,” she said.

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