A new kind of trick-or-treating

EDCI’s Cate Elander poses with a family at last year’s Trunk or Treat. (Photo courtesy of EDCI)

Looking for a new way to trick-or-treat?

This Halloween, join your neighbors in East Durham for Trunk or Treat – a community-wide celebration that combines traditional trick-or-treating with book giveaways. The event is hosted at the office of East Durham Children’s Initiative, and is facilitated by Communities in Partnership and Old East Durham.

“Communities in Partnership is like a grassroots community group,” says Cate Elander, EDCI’s manager of community engagement. “And the second one, Old East Durham, is kind of like our neighborhood association. They’re both organizations that are made up of folks that live and work in the community.”

Costume-clad participants should meet in the parking lot beside 107 N. Driver St. at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31. Here, they will have the opportunity to earn books from trunks sponsored by local organizations and families. Participants will also be given a list of houses in the neighborhood available for traditional trick-or-treating. The event concludes at 8 p.m.

Trunk or Treat started last year and drew over 100 families. Although the event targets younger children, participants of all ages are encouraged to attend – and to wear their craziest Halloween costumes.

Elander says the event is both a fun and safe way for families to spend Halloween.

“Folks will pull up into parking spaces and decorate their trunks and then hand out candy and books to the kids,” she says. “So it’s kind of like an additional way to trick-or-treat, but you’re just trick-or-treating among trunks instead of houses or stores. It’s a way to kind of have folks have one spot to come to kick off their trick-or-treating. It just makes it a little bit more fun. Kids will get a little bit more candy.”

Local resident Moshimalee Johnson attended last Halloween. She says her family is already looking forward to this year’s Trunk or Treat.

“It was fun,” says Johnson. “I liked it because it was a safe way to get the kids together and give them some treats without having to walk door to door and knocking to figure out who might be giving out candy. I liked it mostly because it was safe and convenient.”

Not surprisingly, Trunk or Treat has captured the interest of new participants. Local resident Elia Nicholas plans to attend with her two daughters. Although Nicholas and her family did not attend last year, they are eager to see what this year has in store.

“Trunk or Treat is an excellent way to safely promote family activities in Durham,” says Nicholas. “By giving our kids an opportunity for strengthening not only their education but family ties, we are supporting our neighborhoods and community.”

A pumpkin from last year's event

A pumpkin from last year’s event. (Photo courtesy of EDCI)

Like Nicholas, Elander appreciates the safe atmosphere that Trunk or Treat creates. She feels that its community-building nature is significant for East Durham.

“It’s a way to increase neighbor-to-neighbor networking and have kids meet each other,” says Elander. “I think the opportunity for families and neighbors to come out and celebrate a holiday or cultural tradition together is always a way of building community, particularly because all of the different types of families who live here can participate. It crosses the language barrier and it’s just a fun way to get together with your neighbors to celebrate a common and fun tradition.”

Trunk or Treat is a free event open to the entire community. Participants do not have to sign up in advance. For more information, contact EDCI at (919) 908-8709 or visit www.edci.org.