Town’s first Trunk or Treat a success

Town’s first Trunk or Treat a success

The Town of Merrillville’s inaugural Trunk or Treat had a little bit of rain, but a whole lot of fun.

About 400 children and their families visited the Dean and Barbara White Community Center on Thursday (Oct. 26) to collect treats from decorated vehicles.

“I was so excited to see all the families that participated,” said Town Councilwoman Rhonda Neal, the chairwoman of Merrillville’s Events Committee.

Many came decked out in their costumes as they collected candy, fruit snacks, popcorn, and other goodies. The community enjoyed viewing pictures of the participants as they were posted on the Town of Merrillville’s Facebook page.

“Cuteness overload!” Letitia Johnson wrote in a comment on Facebook.

Although getting candy was a main objective for kids, it was just the start at Merrillville’s Trunk or Treat. Town departments brought out their vehicles so children could hop inside and check them out. Community organizations had games, activities, haunted houses, and a photo backdrop for participants to capture the excitement of the event. Many favorite “Star Wars” characters portrayed by the 501st Legion's Northern Darkness Garrison also walked through the parking lot to greet visitors and take photos.

“We were overjoyed by the support of our Town of Merrillville staff and community sponsors that made Trunk or Treat possible,” said Linda Rosas, Merrillville’s Administrative & Building Manager/Assistant to the Town Manager & Town Council.

Rosas is an instrumental part of the Events Committee that organized Trunk or Treat.

“Special shout out to the 3D Ryderz Motorcycle Club with the 20-foot haunted house and skeleton riders, Merrillville Fire Department and their smokey haunted house, Impact Church for the games and goodies, Southshore Hospice for the photo booth, Texas Corral, Chik-fil-A, the Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, and so many more to mention.” Rosas said. “We plan on growing bigger and better in the years to come.”

Interim Town Manager Michael Griffin noted that through the information gathering process for the Merrillville Momentum Comprehensive Plan, residents have expressed a yearning for community, a commons, in the Town.

“That event looked like a community to me, and it was so good,” Griffin said of Trunk or Treat.

Town Council President Rick Bella said he was also excited to see the success of the inaugural Trunk or Treat.

“It was heartening to witness the presence of numerous families, particularly children, who came to collect candy and celebrate this holiday,” he said.

Barbara Young, the Event Center Manager at the Dean and Barbara White Community Center, said the first Trunk or Treat was a memorable experience, and she was thankful for the strong turnout from the Merrillville Community.

“Speaking on behalf of our staff from the Dean and Barbara White Community Center, we had a blast,” Young said. “All who participated got into the Halloween spirit handing out candy, wearing costumes, and having fun with all the little ghosts and goblins.”

Those interested in viewing photos from the festivities can visit the Town’s Facebook page — — to see dozens of photos posted there.

Although Trunk or Treat is over, Merrillville’s Events Committee has more in store for the community this holiday season.

Merrillville’s tree lighting ceremony and family night takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Dean and Barbara White Community Center, 6600 Broadway. It will include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Participants can get a picture with Santa while enjoying hot chocolate and goodies. The event also features a tree decorating contest involving students from all five of Merrillville’s elementary schools. You don’t want to miss it.