ROCKINGHAM — Hundreds of kids dressed up in their favorite costumes Monday night for Halloween tricks and treats at the city of Rockingham Parks and Recreation’s annual Trunk or Treat event.
The line began on the sidewalk in front of the parks and recreation building and snaked its way alongside the pool fence before entering the main playground area, lined with trunks full of goodies sponsored by a variety of groups and organizations.
Isaiah and Elijah Jones, sons of Angela Jones, were dressed as Link from “The Legend of Zelda” game franchise and Marvel Comics superhero, Ant Man.
“It’s the first year we’ve done this,” Angela Jones said. “We trick or treated and then we came here. When trick or treating we go to family.”
Isaiah Jones said it is important to check the candy collected on Halloween for safety, saying a girl he goes to school with once got candy “with needles in it.”
“Our mama says that we shouldn’t (eat candy that isn’t checked) because people can put poison in it,” he said. “That’s why we only go to family every year.”
Angela Jones added that she and her children felt that Browder Park’s Trunk or Treat is also safe.
Sonquana Lockhart brought 4-year-old Antonio Broady, dressed as Batman, to the park. She said they enjoy the city’s Halloween festivities, as well as those taking place at area churches.
“We come here every year,” Lockhart said. “Here, and at Sierra (church) in Hamlet. Those are good places to go trick or treating.”
Among the most popular costumes were princesses, superheroes and assorted winged creatures. There were surprisingly few traditional, monster-themed disguises, or people dressed as characters from horror films.
Baby Kailynn Jones was pushed along in a stroller creatively decorated as a Cabbage Patch Kids box straight out of the 1980s.
“It’s a safe environment for everybody, and it’s been a success,” said Kim Williams, city event coordinator. “And a special thanks for the parks and rec department for putting on the haunted house. Richmond Senior High School Beta Club kids worked in different parts of the haunted house, too, and were giving out candy and helping in various ways.”
According to Willisams, agencies who sponsored trunks included: Richmond County Aging Services, Rockingham Police Department, Rockingham Fire Department, Discovery Place KIDS, Tourism Development Authority, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Dieffenbach GM Superstore, Biscuitville, Cascades Tissue Group, Phil’s Automotive Repair, Arlo’s Wrecker Service, Champion Ford, Girl Scouts, American Legion Post 147, Oak Ridge Baptist Church, First Assembly of God, Tri City Inc./Kenneth Robinette, Dunn Builders, D & K Skull Mounts and Jewelry, Area of Richmond Transit, Griffin Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Lowe’s, Jeff’s Trophies and the East Rockingham Fire Department.
“This was one of the largest crowds we’ve had in the last 11 years,” she said. “We had well over 3,000. It stayed like that all night. I always buy extra candy, and I ran out this year, but not until eight-o-clock. The haunted house stayed packed as well.”
Williams said the trunk or treat event fills a need, and thanked all of the sponsors, saying it could not be done without them.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.