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October 16, 2013

Recreation authority plans Trick or Treat Trail

By Kevin Bunch
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Kids line up along the Trick or Treat Trail in Veterans Memorial Park in 2012, hoping to snag some Halloween candy. The trail will return this year on Oct. 26.

ROSEVILLE — For the second year in a row, the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe is planning a Halloween Trick or Treat Trail from 6-7 p.m. Oct. 26.

According to authority Special Events Coordinator Frank Heinrich, local individuals, businesses and organizations are setting up booths at the Veterans Memorial Park so kids can come through and get candy in a safe environment.

“It’s just a way for kids to have a more safe trick-or-treating option, as opposed to going out on Halloween,” Heinrich said. “Trick-or-treating in the area is just not what it used to be — just everywhere, trick-or-treating from when we were kids just isn’t the same — so we wanted to give kids a safer option that wasn’t just on Halloween night.”

Originally, the Roseville Optimist Club and the city’s Recreation Department had a Halloween party based out of the recreation center that included a trunk-or-treat program in the parking lot, Optimist Club Secretary Frank Maisano said.

The Roseville Optimist Club was interested in doing something for Halloween at the Veterans Memorial Park, and last year, the authority and the club gave it a shot. Heinrich said about 400 kids showed up to the event.

“It was a huge success,” Maisano said. “The earlier trunk or treats had about 150, 125 kids partake in it. They used to go to the event we had prior to that, as we had a petting zoo there, and a dance, and you’d come out after that about 8:30 and go around from trunk to trunk getting a piece of candy or something like that from people from different organizations. There were probably about 20-25 people, tops, handing stuff out there, and this last year, it was just tremendous.”

To participate in the event, parents must preregister their children at the Roseville recreation center for $3 a child. In return, they get a wristband required for admission Oct. 26, Heinrich said. Last year sold out with the 400 kids, and he expects the 500 wristbands available this year.

“It’s a very quick trail. It’s organized for 500 kids and it goes from 6-7, so we have to keep them moving,” he said. As of Oct. 8, 300 wristbands had been reserved.

The 500 kids, can expect to get a pretty good amount of candy, Heinrich said. Last year had a little more than 30 groups and people giving candy, with kids receiving a small pumpkin-shaped carrier to hold their loot. He said those pumpkins quickly filled up, and kids who brought their own bags did well. The authority is aiming for about 40-50 spots on the trail this year, he added.

Among the organizations planning on being along the trail are the Roseville Lions Club, the Roseville Optimist Club and several elementary school parent-teacher organizations, Heinrich said. Local dignitaries have also been invited, though he said none had confirmed that they are coming yet.

Maisano added that Eastpointe businesses and organizations have also been invited to take part. He said that the wristbands, themselves, are open to kids in either city and beyond, and he hopes to see it continue to get more kids coming out.

“If it keeps growing in that respect, that would be great, because kids don’t have to worry about getting bad candy or being bothered, and the moms and dads are there with them,” Maisano said. “It’s just a great time for all the kids.”

Heinrich said the trail will include a disc jockey playing Halloween-themed music like “The Monster Mash,” and those with booths are encouraged to decorate for the holiday. Maisano said the Optimist Club is planning to do a witches’ coven-themed table and will hand out full-sized candy bars.

The park is located at the cross streets of Barkman Street and Chestnut Street in Roseville, just north of 11 Mile Road. For more information, or to sign up to give out candy, call the recreation authority at (586) 445-5480.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kevin Bunch at kbunch@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.