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Forget door to door, some trick-or-treating goes from trunk-to-trunk

Forget door to door, some trick-or-treating goes from trunk-to-trunk

As the leaves start to fall, the temperature starts to drop, and the days shorten, communities start to welcome back a long-awaited tradition: Trunk-or-Treating. This event is known differently to each person. Some people know it as Halloween tailgating, Car-to-Candy, and more.

“It’s a bunch of cars in a parking lot, and they all have a theme,” Madeline Baker ‘27 said.“They give out candy from their trunks to the kids that walk around. It’s really fun, especially when you get to do it with friends, and it’s really cool to see each car’s theme.” 

Trunk-or-treating is fun when it’s just a bonding experience for you and your friends, but some people substitute trick-or-treating for trunk-or-treating completely, for numerous reasons.

“The first, and maybe only time that I took my kids trunk or treating, was because the school that they were going to was directly across the street,” Design teacher Tim Wilson said. “We were in a big city, so we were able to go to the school and walk around the parking lot. It was just so much safer than walking around the neighborhoods because we just don’t know the areas very well, it might not be safe, and it just would have made it more difficult.”

Sometimes, your location makes it feel unsafe to go trick or treating, like in Wilson’s case. But for some, it’s not just the danger of the location.

“In my neighborhood last year, we did trunk or treating because all the houses were really far apart, so everyone lined up their cars, and the kids would go from car to car,” Leah Stephany ‘26 said. “I live in the middle of the woods, so it was just harder for the kids to walk around and get to each house. I handed out candy to the kids, and I enjoyed trunk or treating because you got to interact with the kids more because they were in your trunks. I think our neighborhood bonded more from this experience.”

For Stephany and many others, trunk-or-treating is a way to connect to your peers in a creative, collaborative, and community-bonding way. But for others, it might not capture the same feeling that good old-fashioned trick-or-treating gives off.

“My kids enjoyed trunk-or-treating a lot, but I don’t think they enjoyed it as much as trick-or-treating,” Wilson said. “They probably got more candy, but I think what they like about going to neighborhoods is that people put on big shows in their yard, so it’s more of an experience. I think if there were more activities, it would be more fun and memorable. I do remember they did trunk-or-treating at my last school; we never went to it, but they had more stuff like a haunted house, that kind of thing.”

It’s important to remember that the location is a huge aspect of the experience as well because each place runs their event differently. The type of relationship you have to the organizers or place matters.

“My first time trunk-or-treating was at my pre-school, Tutor Time” Vic Cunningham ‘24 said. “I think the location impacted the trunk-or-treating, mainly because it was a school, and it was exciting to be able to go around the school doing something fun as opposed to learning”.

There are a fair amount of places to go trunk-or-treating in Michigan as well; some require a drive that’s a little farther, but many people find it worth the trip. Some places are “Trunk-or-Treat” at Fisherman’s Net Christian Church, “2023 Trunk or Treat” at Faith Baptist Church, and so many more.

Most people, similar to trick or treating, stop trunk-or-treating at a certain age. But the memories are forever remembered and recalled upon each Halloween.

“When I was in Pre-K, I dressed up as a fairy with pink little wings,” Cunningham said. “We did some festivities before, while the parents set up their cars, then we went out and I was walking with my cousin and I got so much candy. It was amazing.”

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