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This is not a trick: Trunk-or-Treat returns to Grand Isle

MADAWASKA, Maine — On Sunday, Oct. 28, more than a dozen cars will be decked out with scary (but not too scary) decor as an estimated 200 youngsters return to the Grand Isle Community Center on a quest for the coveted candy during the second annual trunk-or-treat event.

Trunk-or-treat is a form of trick-or-treating where people volunteer their cars in a central location for children to go from trunk to trunk searching for candy as if they were going door-to-door.

This is the second year that Grand Isle is hosting the event that Ryan D. Pelletier, the County Administrator and creator of the Positively Aroostook Facebook page, said “provides a safe place for kids to enjoy Halloween.”

Lindsay Dretchen said she is helping organize the event for her children.

“I have two sons, my oldest is autistic, and I want him to be able to experience Halloween to the funnest that he can, the safest that he can,” she said.

While Dretchen is participating in the event for her children, she isn’t just doing it for the youngsters.

“I do it for the kids and the parents know the kids can come trick-or-treat and have fun and have no worries at all,” Dretchen said. “It’s such a small community so they should be able to feel that safeness.”

Last year, the Grand Isle Homecoming Committee invited only Madawaska Elementary School students and the headcount was more than 125. This year, the committee invited youngsters from Madawaska and Van Buren schools. Dretchen said there also are a lot of homeschool students who have been invited, but the event is “very much open to the public.”

The event expands well beyond the trunks of cars. As people enter the gates of the parking lot, each individual will be handed a food ticket which is good for a hot chocolate donated by Tim Horton’s, and one hot dog and fries prepared by Maine-ly Meat ‘n Potatoes and donated by the Grand Isle Fire Department and Grand Isle Homecoming Committee.

People will be allowed to eat inside the community center and go through Lance Corbin and the Honor Society sponsored haunted house, which is free of charge, according to Dretchen.

Grand Isle firefighters have been asked to decorate one of their fire engines and to have the fire dog Spot make a special appearance. Firefighters also are going to help with traffic control.

Everyone who is coming to trick-or-treat will have to park across the street “to ensure the safety of all the children,” Dretchen said. “We are going to make sure no cars are going in or out of the trunk-or-treat parking lot.”

Each participating trunk will be creatively decorated at the discretion of the car owner. Some ideas for trunk-or-treat decorations can be found here. The designated decorator can make the car as scary or friendly as he or she wants as long as there is a steady supply of candy available to hand out to the little rascals.

The event is scheduled to take place between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. or until the candy runs out.

“It brings residents together and is a strong show of support for our area youths and families,” said Pelletier, who is not part of the committee but is promoting it on the Positively Aroostook Facebook page. “I hope more communities consider the Trunk or Treat activity in the future.”

Committee members also will give out prizes for the best costumes for children and best trunks for adults so that “the adults get something too so they feel thanked,” according to Dretchen.

Prizes include a trophy and a gift certificate for the adults and a jack-o-lantern full of Halloween candy and toys for the best dressed tiny human.

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