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What is the freakin' deal with all this Trunk or Treat nonsense?

Hink

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Trunk or Treat events are the epitome of the Car-Is-King society.
Why would you get out of your car in a parking lot, when you can just give candy out in the giant parking lot that doesn't have any greenspace or a park....
 

kjel

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Trunk or Treat events are the epitome of the Car-Is-King society.
Posted elsewhere by me: I have a love hate relationship with Trunk or Treat. My two kids are 18 years apart, the older one primarily did neighborhood trick or treating in the various places we lived over the years. We live in a socio-economic challenged community now where few residents pass out candy and many children don't participate in trick or treating due to economic and cultural reasons as well as perceived safety concerned. Last year my little one's school decided to set up a trunk or treat in there parking lot during the school day. Probably 90% of the students dressed up and came trick or treating in the parking lot. The principal was amazed at how many students participated as generally only about 50% participate in dressing up. The kids had a blast and it was a lot of fun for all involved. I took my little one out for traditional trick or treating in the evening and of course we passed out candy at our house as well, but we were just 1 of maybe 5 houses doing so on a street with 50 houses.

Dan said:
Anybody watch 90 Day Fiance? That's some quality television right there.
Yes we do. We refer to it as Trash TV Time at our house. My husband loves to make fun of the Dominican guy Pedro. Pillow Talk is the best to watch if you don't want to suffer through the 2 hours and get pithy commentary from previous participants.
 

Maister

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Moderator note:

split from RTDNTOTO


All the Trunk or Treat events locally seem to take place at church parking lots. Frequently churches put up temporary banners several days ahead of time advertising these events. Which leads me to believe the origins of Trunk or Treat are tied directly to some kind of church involvement. Lots of fundamentalist churches oppose observance of Halloween and I always assumed the people that took their kids to these types of events were usually affiliated with that particular church and wanted to keep their children safe from all the satanic/pagan observances that take place in the surrounding neighborhoods.

I've heard some parents remark that they take their kids to Trunk or Treat because it is safer. I suppose if all the action is taking place in a parking lot in view of the parents at all times, there might be some merit to this. On the other hand, this notion that someone in a neighborhood is going to try to hand out poisoned candy or apples with razor blades in them is purely a fantasy-based fear. How many documented cases have there been where kids have been poisoned by Trick or Treat candy ever throughout the course of history? 1000? 100? 10? Nope. Try zero. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/halloween-non-poisonings/

Yep, just an urban legend, but talk about a pervasive one!
 
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luckless pedestrian

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I really think it misses the point of Halloween and community - the most walkable neighborhoods in your town are likely the best, and most crowded on Halloween night- sometimes so crowded the municipality shuts down the road to cars even to accommodate the crowd - it's a great way to determine the most safe and walkable spots

but for the kids, the fun is to see how many houses you can do in the shortest time, seeing your friends out and about, and for the parents too to see other parents and chit chat - I love Halloween and will miss that experience the most now that my kids are grown

the trunk party I think was a response to people freaking out that their kid was going to have a razor stuck in their Nestlé Crunch bar or to avoid the creepy in the shadows - all of which are rare and isolated incidents but they influenced how Halloween is done - it's pretty sad, especially when they are done in towns that have walkable and safe neighborhoods
 

Gedunker

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I was 8 or 9 and Trick or Tresting with a friend and our moms. I tripped on a tree stump walking in the dark up to one house and so was taking a little break when my friend rang the bell of a house and promptly got taken hostage by the occupant bearing a shotgun. Yeah, it became a police situation and was scary as all get out. The cops managed to talk the guy down pretty quickly and my friend was unhurt. I think the guy ended up doing a 4 year stretch in Rahway.

Our moms were surprisingly cool about Halloween afterwards, considering.
 

Faust_Motel

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I grew up rural enough that my parents used to drive us around to knock on doors for trick-or-treating. W@hen i got old enough to have friends in the nearest town and go with them, it was a game changer. Those Town kids had a huge level of independence compared to what I had. They biked places alone! Met friends casually at the park without pre-arranging playdates! Got sent to the store for stuff! It was a whole new world and trick-or-treating was just the beginning. I reject the car-culture nature of trunk-or-treat and also think that conventional Halloween can give kids just a little taste of risk that's good for 'em.
 

Doohickie

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Frequently churches put up temporary banners several days ahead of time advertising these events. Which leads me to believe the origins of Trunk or Treat are tied directly to some kind of church involvement.
That's exactly what it is. The idea is: Get people from the neighborhood to come to your church, meet some church members, and who knows, maybe they'll stop by on Sunday. It's probably the easiest neighborhood event to draw engagement from the community.

the trunk party I think was a response to people freaking out that their kid was going to have a razor stuck in their Nestlé Crunch bar or to avoid the creepy in the shadows - all of which are rare and isolated incidents but they influenced how Halloween is done - it's pretty sad, especially when they are done in towns that have walkable and safe neighborhoods
The "trunk party" is all about laziness and convenience. I can get my kid a bagful of candy in 15 minutes, versus an hour and a half? Yes sir.
 

Coragus

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Our township Parks & Rec holds a trunk or treat every year. Our DDA, which I staff, participates in it. It last for an hour and it is a great way for office-bound professionals to meet residents.
 

Doohickie

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I grew up rural enough that my parents used to drive us around to knock on doors for trick-or-treating.
My last house was in a suburban neighborhood- 60x120 lots more or less, and by the time we left I would say the MAJORITY of trick or treaters were driven house to house by their mom. There were traffic jams all throughout the neighborhood, with impatient parents and clueless kids. I hated that.

In my new neighborhood, we had very few trick or treaters last year. I hated that too. One of my neighbors said that kids don't go to a house that doesn't have Halloween decorations, so I guess I need to stop by the dollar store and pick some up.
 

Maister

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One year I learned that Mrs. Maister planned to take Junior Trick-or-Treating in the car! I put an end to that sh** pronto....yes he can freakin' walk around a few blocks...No I don't care if "all the other parents are driving their kids around"....No, I don't care if it's raining. It's not a downpour and come to think of it, it rained most years when I went Trick-or-Treating, and yet I don't recall getting sick afterwards, or recall being miserable while Trick-or-Treating, besides, it makes for a good story afterwards.
 

gtpeach

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In my little rural county, there's one neighborhood that's densely populated enough to do trick or treating. So a LOT of people bring their kids. It's right next to the courthouse and County admin buildings. They close the streets to cars, have a big trunk or treat event in the office parking lot (with a lot of municipal departments participating) and then kids can walk through the neighborhood and trick or treat at the houses. It's the best of all worlds.

There are some churches that will do events, too. But honestly, we don't have the density to support more traditional forms of trick or treating in most of the area, so I love that there's a centralized event where the kids can have the Halloween experience.
 

Whose Yur Planner

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When mini WYP was little, we would take her to the houses in the subdivision. the church would also have a "Fall Festival" in lieu of Halloween. Sounds like what is happening is the low density, sprawl development is having yet another unintended consequence.
 

terraplnr

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Yeah, it's never sounded appealing to me. . . probably because my trunk has contained or stored random odds and ends like kids' muddy boots and water shoes, auto repair equipment, dusty books and old clothes/toys that I get around to donating after they've lived in my trunk for a few months first, about 2 pounds of sand from beach toys/equipment, etc. Mixing all that with candy doesn't sound appetizing. :sick:
 

kjel

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When mini WYP was little, we would take her to the houses in the subdivision. the church would also have a "Fall Festival" in lieu of Halloween. Sounds like what is happening is the low density, sprawl development is having yet another unintended consequence.
I live in Newark which is dense and walkable. Of the 50 or so houses on the block maybe 5 hand out candy. The kids actually trick or treat at the businesses on the commercial corridor. We decorate ours quite a bit and it's become a stopping off point for kids to take their picture in front of. There's a new neighbor that moved in recently and they decorated, another neighbor that generally doesn't decorate put some out yesterday. We might get a few more trick or treaters this year.
 

Doohickie

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The kids actually trick or treat at the businesses on the commercial corridor.
When I was a kid we trick or treated in the neighborhood, but two blocks down was a fire hall. They always had hot apple cider and plain cake donuts. I didn't really like plain cake donuts (I always wanted something with frosting), but on Halloween I thought they were delicious. I wonder if they still do that.
 
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Faust_Motel

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When I was a kid we trick or treated in the neighborhood, but two blocks down was a fire hall. They always had hot apple cider and plain cake donuts. I didn't really like plain cake donuts (I always wanted something with frosting), but on Halloween I thought they were delicious. I wonder if they still do that.
My town used to open up an old, otherwise unused grange hall as a haunted house and townwide Halloween party. It was super spooky with the big old locust trees all around and pretty much a dried out cornfield right up to the hall steps. Also really fun. Cake doughnuts on strings figured prominently.
 

Big Owl

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That's exactly what it is. The idea is: Get people from the neighborhood to come to your church, meet some church members, and who knows, maybe they'll stop by on Sunday. It's probably the easiest neighborhood event to draw engagement from the community.
That's the idea but most of the folks that attend our church's trunk or treat go to the other area churches' trunk or treats. I know one lady that mentioned that we were one of 6 that she and her family visited. I doubt we have ever gained a member as result of that event. I am all for providing a safe place for kids to go trick or treat but how much candy does one kid/family need.
 

ChairmanMeow

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I live in a condo complex (mix of 2-story garden style apartments and townhouses) where people from other parts of the town drop their kids off bc of the (perceived) density to candy ratio. For the apartments, the main front and back doors automatically lock on the outside. This creates much confusion for the trick or treaters and means incessant doorbell ringing. I wish for more more trunk-or-treats if it means less deranged doorbell ringing.
 

Dan

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I live in a "rural character" suburban area. Last year, we had just one trick-or-treater. I dumped most of the bowl of candy into her bag.

When I lived in an inner ring streetcar suburb, there were kids at the door every couple of minutes. It was like what @Planit described -- a trick-or-treat destination. The neighborhood was a "safe" middle class area that's not far from a lower income area with a high crime rate. I wasn't in a "they give out full size candy bars" kind of neighborhood, but the streets were still full of kids, probably 75% of which weren't local.

 

TOFB

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We get a few trick or treaters going past our house - maybe 20. But our front door is 14 steps up from the curb and the stairs are not in very good condition. So we don't participate.
 

dandy_warhol

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Ugh. I just bought two giant bags of candy to donate to the PTA for their trunk-or-treat event.

I used to have morals.
 

Maister

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Ugh. I just bought two giant bags of candy to donate to the PTA for their trunk-or-treat event.

I used to have morals.
And you're expecting...sympathy?

On a completely unrelated note, has anyone read this book yet?
Image result for traitor
 

mendelman

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When I lived in an inner ring streetcar suburb, there were kids at the door every couple of minutes. It was like what @Planit described -- a trick-or-treat destination. The neighborhood was a "safe" middle class area that's not far from a lower income area with a high crime rate. I wasn't in a "they give out full size candy bars" kind of neighborhood, but the streets were still full of kids, probably 75% of which weren't local.
This was almost the exact situation for us when we lived in Oak Park, IL. We lived about 3 blocks from the border with the Chicago Austin neighborhood, which, in 2007-ish, was still pretty rough. So, we had gobs of kids coming into our side of Oak Park that were not Oak Park residents. It was cool nonetheless and I was happy to pass out candy to all the kids with my then 4 month old son on the porch in his hot-dog-on-bun costume.

In our current neighborhood, we're dense enough for walking traffic, but door to door distances are relatively long (100-200 feet due to lot widths and front setbacks). Kids poop out quickly, but we still get a large amount of loot, regardless.
 

Maister

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In our current neighborhood, we're dense enough for walking traffic, but door to door distances are relatively long (100-200 feet due to lot widths and front setbacks). Kids poop out quickly, but we still get a large amount of loot, regardless.
I observed this back when Junior Trick-or-Treated. Whenever he'd hit up houses on out of the way cul-de-sacs, neighborhoods with a higher percentage of seniors, or other areas that saw relatively few trick-or-treaters due to their relative isolation, the few houses that were handing out candy tended to dump half the candy bowl in your bag when the doorbell rang.
 
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