Huge turnout for city Trunk-or-Treat

Huge turnout for city Trunk-or-TreatBy CHRISTINA MACGREGOR

News Review Correspondent

Excitement and laughter were visibly present Saturday as an estimated 2,000 children and parents lined up to fill their buckets and bags full of goodies at the Kerr McGee Center parking.

City Councilmember Lindsey Stephens, who helped plan the project, said she was excited to see such a huge turnout.

“The Kerr McGee Center and City Hall are the heart of our community … It just seemed like an underutilized space. I love when we used it for the Parade of 1000 Flags, and I just wanted to see people there more.”

Kids garbed as superheroes, pirates, princesses and other characters seemed barely able to contain their delight as they walked past a variety of decorated cars. Some trunks were as fancy as the costumes — decked out with witches, gravestones, a bubblegum machine and other adornments.

Police officers and other first responders attended the event as well, passing out treats to the little ones. Various clubs and groups around town, as well as random citizens, made up the group of kind individuals who donated their time, decorating talents and candy to the children of Ridgecrest.

After the trunk-or-treating event died down, people grabbed meals and snacks from food vendors parked at the event, then headed over to the Freedom Park lawn to watch “Hotel Translvania” on the new large inflatable movie screen, purchased though the city as part of the Freedom Park Enhancement Project.

Stephens said the council is hoping to make the movie nights a more regular occurrence.

“We are trying to shoot for once a month,” said Stephens. That may die down during the coldest months of the year, but the plan is to host events at Freedom Park year-round.

Based on the turnout for the first two movie-night events, the community members appear to have enthusiastically embraced this new tradition.

Stephens, who attended both screenings, remarked how impressed she and her husband were with the picture and sound quality.

Stephens is also hoping that the food vendors will continue to attend the future events. She said that the council is planning to keep events open for vendors.

She said that most vendors seemed pleased with the traffic at the event. “I think one of them even ran out of food,” she commented with a laugh.

The next movie night is scheduled for Dec. 1, to be held directly after the annual Christmas tree lighting.

Another highly anticipated piece of the Freedom Park Enhancement Project is a patriotic-themed splash pad. It will have a covered shade structure next to the pad, with seating underneath.

RecWest is finishing up the planning stages of the splash park. It is also the company responsible for the recent equipment updates at Upjohn and Pearson parks.

The splash pad is expected to be finished by spring, before the start of the next warm season.

Pictured: Janell Etoch (right) passes out candy to youngsters at last weekend’s Trunk-or-Treat. The Evan Etoch Memorial Foundation sponsored the city’s inaugural Halloween celebration — which attracted an estimated 2,000 people. -- Photo by Rebecca Neipp

Story First Published: 2017-11-03