Treats from Trunks and More Community Halloween HappeningsOctober, 2019
By Stacy Milbouer
Fiddlehead Contributing Editor
Halloween is coming and so is trick-or-treat. The trick is to find a way for kids to stay safe, the treat is the community celebrations that make it easy and fun. And that’s where trunk-or-treat celebrations come in.
On Oct. 31, the village of New Boston transforms itself into Halloween central. Festivities include a scarecrow contest, a display of carved pumpkins, trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating.
“It’s a great event which allows children who live on the outskirts of town to go trick-or-treating,” town Recreation Director Michael Sindoni said recently.
Trunk-or-treat is a fairly new twist on the traditional doorbell method of gathering candy — kind of like tailgating for costume-clad kiddies. Participants decorate the trunks of their cars in creepy finery and sometimes Halloween games.
Tiny ghosts, goblins and superheroes make the rounds of cars in a parking lot. Many towns, schools and church communities have transitioned to a trunk-of-treat event to keep a close eye on their children without reducing their Halloween joy.
It’s especially popular in rural communities where trick-or-treating can mean a huge hike from home to home. And in some communities, like Bedford, it’s used as a fundraising event to help children and families.
The MOMS Club of Bedford hosts an annual trunk-or-treat event and collects money to contribute to local organizations like Families in Transition.
Trunk-or-treat also allows creative grownups some crafty inspiration. Ordinary trunks have been transformed into a pirate’s treasure chest, a mad scientist’s lab, Noah’s Ark, huge spider webs and mini-carnivals to name a few trunk themes. Pinterest is full of ideas.
“It’s become very popular,” said Sindoni. “We cone-off spots for eight to 12 cars in the Town Hall parking lot for trunk-or-treaters.”
Participants must be town residents and must register in advance. Registration forms are available at newbostonnh.gov.
New Boston gets an early start on the holiday. For the entire month of October, the town green becomes Scarecrow Alley with a display of spooky creations by locals. Townspeople vote for their favorites and prizes are awarded.
“They must be taken down for Halloween day because downtown can get very crowded,” said Sindoni.
On Halloween revelers are encouraged to bring their carved pumpkins to display on the gazebo in the town center. Trick- and trunk-or-treaters are encouraged to visit the Old Engine House, where the department of recreation will be handing out treats and the surrounding neighborhood as well.
“People who live in the village might get anywhere from 800 to 1,200 trick-or-treaters,” Sindoni said. “We collect donations of bags of candy for the whole month of October to prepare. People are very generous, so on Halloween if somebody in the neighborhood is running out of candy, they just drop by the Old Engine House and we can help out.”