More than 4,000 kids and their parents filed through “Trunk or Treat” Sunday night in Hilliard, Ohio. The community event was sponsored by Movement Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Hilliard (Mark Artrip, past0r). Josh Howard, pastor of communication and arts at the church, posted a live video of the event on Facebook (and shared above).
“Last year we had about 3,000 people total,” he reported. “This year we estimate at least 4,000. We had 53 trunks decorated along with Chic-Fil-A with their cow passing out free sandwich coupons. Metro Park rangers were there with a front loader decorated as a monster and having kids grab candy out of the bucket. We had 104.9 the River (Christian radio station) there passing out candy and pumping out music at the starting line. We had three food trucks, Norwich Fire Department with their mascot Sparky, along with the Police Chief and the Hilliard Police K9 for photos and a table for kids to grab a trunk or treat bag for candy if they didn’t bring one. With the help of five special duty officers and Citizens police academy alumni directing traffic/safety, Hilliard YMCA Staff, and Movement Staff/volunteers we were able to get 4,000 people through the line in two hours. The line itself took about 20 minutes and then families could interact with police and fire, and grab some food, hot chocolate, cider and coffee after.”
This is the sixth year for the event.
“Over time we have built it up to be a community event,” says Howard. “Getting the police and fire involved helped along with Destination Hilliard which is run by the city to help promote events in Hilliard. It was in their Fall magazine going out to over 25,000 homes. The Hilliard YMCA also advertised it to its 10,000 members since we have a strong partnership with them and it is where we have our Sunday Services.
He says that the feedback this year has been that this has become a tradition for the community of Hilliard to look forward to. “Many use this event instead of the city’s trick or treat on Halloween,” he adds.
So how much candy changes hands at this event?
“We give each car a guidelines sheet,” says Josh. “Each car needs to have at least 1,000 pieces of candy, and then we have 7,000-10,000 pieces of candy extra to supplement each car as the night goes on.” Those who want to participate as a “trunk” may sign up online. Here’s the form they used this year.
Of the 53 cars that were on hand to pass out candy, Josh estimates that 15 were from the community. He’s quick to add, though that it is not the goal to not make it a business fair. “We do want to empower and give ownership to our community, and that has added to the success of the event,” he says. “While we want people to know Movement, come and visit and find Jesus, we don’t want to take all the glory from the event and [we want to] really focus on bringing the community together. Everyone knows we partner with the Y to put it on and we have a trunk that is Movement branded, where each bag gets an invite card to our Sunday worship experience.”