Trunk or Treat: Is it Replacing Trick or Treating?
Are you familiar with the concept of Trunk or Treat? It’s an event that has been growing in popularity in Southeast Michigan over the last few years. Trunk or Treat (originally referred to as “Halloween Tailgating”) has been around since the ’90s in different parts of the country. The concept started gaining traction around 2004 when a church in Trenton held an event and 700 people showed up. Four years later, the event attendance had grown to 7,000. It’s exactly what you think it is: Open, decorated trunks that serve as candy stations for kids to trick or treat.
Trunk or Treat continued to gain momentum during the pandemic. This form of trick or treating became the go-to alternative to trick or treating in neighborhoods. Some people think Truck or Treat is replacing traditional trick or treating, but usually, the TOT events are scheduled in the evenings (or daytime) around Halloween. In my neighborhood, I do feel like we’ve seen fewer trick-or-treaters in the last few years, but I don’t know if that’s the pandemic effect or Trunk or Treating being on a rise, but it’s probably both.
The idea of trick-or-treating being replaced by these events is a tough one. Trick or treating is a tradition. Even before we had kids, we handed out candy. I love it when the kids stop by. The dogs go nuts, so these days we have to sit on the porch during peak times, but still worth it. I love seeing the adorable little ones out with big smiles on their faces. These kids are in awe that the neighborhood is giving them candy. It’s THE BEST. Even when the teens come by, I love that (whether they know it or not) they’re holding on to that piece of their childhood.
Is Trunk or Treat replacing Trick-or-treating?
Maybe. From the parental side, there are a lot of perks. If Halloween is on a weekday, these TOT events are most likely on the weekend. You’re more likely to know the people that are giving your kids candy. The event doesn’t take as long as traditional trick-or-treating and EVERYONE is participating (unlike neighborhood trick-or-treating). To boot, these events usually happen earlier in the day. The Detroit Free Press has a great article on the origin of Truck or Treat and best practice tips if you’re looking to organize your own. You can check it out HERE. My son’s elementary school held its first Trunk or Treat this weekend and it was a huge success. If families are enjoying these events (and they are), it’s hard to hit the “but trick-or-treating is a tradition” button on them.
On the other side of the coin, traditional trick-or-treating is healthy for talking with people in your neighborhood that you may not interact with the rest of the year: community bonding is important. We have always gone out with our kids. We know they could handle it on their own, but I like to make sure they’re saying “Thank you” EVERY.TIME., staying off the people’s lawns (lol), and I like to say hey to our neighborhood. Plus the kids have to hoof it around the neighborhood to get their treats, thus more walking activity before you hit the candy bag.
I never know the “right” amount of candy to have on hand for trick-or-treating. I either buy WAY TOO MUCH or we’re having the kids go through their candy immediately so we can recycle the candy they’re willing to part with back out to trick-or-treaters (sorry kids). Fortunately, I have never been so desperate that I had to turn to pennies.
I love the idea of these TOT events, but I also love traditional trick-or-treating. Hopefully, we have enough room for both. The last thing the kids need is MORE CANDY, but Halloween is once a year. Let them live their best lives and Happy Halloween to you all.
Ever wonder where the Halloweeen Rock came from? Check out my list of 13 Unintentional Halloween Classic Rock Songs. I love the stories behind the music!
13 Unintentional Halloween Classic Rock Songs