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Trunk or Treat – What Is It?

Published on Tue, Nov 3, 2020

By: Collin Morgan

Trunk or Treat – a variant of trick or treating – is picking up steam around the country, and Los Angeles is getting in on it.

Note: Trunk or Treating events were not recommended in 2020 by LA County. Make sure to check back for 2021!

As a kid, Halloween is the greatest night of the year. It’s a night of unbridled freedom to terrorize the neighborhood, gorge on chocolate, and stay up past your bedtime. Halloween has its own music. Other than Christmas, what other holiday can say that?

However, times have changed. Keeping your kids safe has become a priority over all else. Many parents shiver at the idea of their kids running wild in the dark, hopping from one stranger’s house to another. How can we protect our children, while keeping the spirit of Halloween alive? Introducing, trunk or treating.

Some of the decorations are impressive! Photo by Amber Avalona.
Some of the decorations get crazy! Photo by Amber Avalona.

What is Trunk or Treating?

Trunk or treating is an event coordinated by parents to pack a parking lot and hand out candy. Usually set up at churches or schools, trunk or treat events consist of hundreds of decorated cars all lined up for the ultimate candy haul opportunity.

Typically, trunk or treat events are RSVP only, to help parents plan on how much candy they can bring. Parents – bring an extra bag of goodies for yourself. Adults can socialize and keep an eye on their kids. Some folks tailgate like a football game, with food, drinks, spooky music, and elaborate cars-turned-Halloween-floats. Usually the best-decorated car goes home with a prize.

From a kid’s point of view, this is the way to go. The candy:time ratio is so favorable it’s almost unfair. It’s safe, contained, and profitable.

Oops... Photo by Amber Avalona.
Oops... Photo by Amber Avalona.

Why Haven’t I Heard About It?

The Midwest in particular has embraced trunk or treating for one reason really: the cold. They say to make sure your costume fits over a snowsuit, because it gets frigid as soon as the sun goes down. Here in LA, we don’t have that problem, obviously. This seems to be a factor as to why it hasn’t caught on quite as strongly.

I believe it will catch on, though. It expands the fun of Halloween night to the adults too, who can enjoy trunk or treating alongside their kids.

Expect to see some elaborate pumpkin carvings! Photo by Antonio Gabola.
Expect to see some elaborate pumpkin carvings! Photo by Antonio Gabola.

How To Find A Trunk Or Treat Event

If you’re hunting for a trunk or treat event to sign up, check your local school’s website or town newspaper. There are events all over LA, from Canoga Park to San Pedro, and more will be added every year.

So, if you want to get in on the fun, RSVP for a trunk or treat event! It will be fun for both you and the kids, and you’ll have peace of mind that they’ll be safe. It’s a HalloWin-Win!

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