West Chicago Public Library hosts first-ever Trunk or Treat event


Photo by (Photo courtesy of National Honor Society)

Attendees stop at various trunks at the public library’s Trunk or Treat event.

By Brianna Roskilly, Reporter

On Saturday, October 30, hundreds of children and parents in the community gathered at West Chicago Public Library’s first-ever Trunk or Treat event.

Every year, the city of West Chicago hosts an annual trick or treating event, throughout the downtown area. However, this season, the tradition was expanded to include Trunk or Treat in the West Chicago Public Library south parking lot.

The event consisted of several local organizations and businesses, including the West Chicago Sharks swim team, Jorge’s Paleteria, Leman Middle School, the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, and First United Methodist Church of West Chicago. Those who desired to participate assembled at 11:30 a.m to decorate their car. At 12:30 p.m, these volunteers started to hand out small goodies to the children of the community. Families typically walked around the nearby area, then came around to the cars.

Event coordinator Dominique Mendez said, “We had 20 organizations and businesses participate in the event, and some were invited, while others asked to attend.”

Because the festivity was, in the past, typically only available downtown, “The event made it so any business owner or organization in West Chicago could participate,” and was so successful, “We had close to 1000 children the day of the event. Everything went smoothly (mostly), and the children were happy,” said Mendez.

Educare staff pose as Shrek characters, complete with swamp backdrop. (Photo courtesy of National Honor Society)

When asked what this occasion signified to the community, Mendez said, “I believe this event is important to the community because it provides a safe and trusted place for the children to go trick or treating in West Chicago,” deeming Trunk or Treat an enjoyable event thanks to the family-friendly environment the volunteers provided.

During the event, Stephanie, a member of Educare West DuPage, an early childhood school, participated in Trunk or Treat with a Shrek-themed vehicle. As she took pictures with other members of the program, she said, “We did this to be a part of the community and for the kids and their families.”

One group attendee was West Chicago Community High School’s very own National Honor Society (NHS). The NHS members decided on a Harry Potter-themed car and station, featuring a variety of activities for the young children. These included a sorting hat in which a member of the organization would choose a child’s Harry Potter house, the application of temporary tattoos, and an on-brand Platform 9 ¾ backdrop to snap a photo in front of.  

WEGO’s National Honor Society was the only student organization to participate in this year’s Trunk or Treat event. (Photo courtesy of National Honor Society)

To prepare, NHS president and senior Cecilia Santiago said, “We made sure to get enough candy, as there were around 300 kids expected. We really made sure to have things planned and organized, because it was pretty much the first community event that we did, and by this, I mean outside of school.” 

Her role was to give out candy as a Gryffindor representative and sort children into their Hogwarts’ homes, while other members managed to produce more treat bags and apply tattoos. Santiago voiced,  “All the volunteers at the event had such a great vibe and were able to make all the kids excited for Halloween and get them excited about being part of a Hogwarts house,” strengthening the spirit of the afternoon.

“My favorite part of the Trunk or Treat was sorting kids into their Hogwarts House and mostly the parents’ reactions. I think, for many kids, even though some hadn’t seen the movies or read the books, it was really fun, and I got to see all their little faces smile,” she stated.

A pup dons a butterfly costume outside the library. (Photo courtesy of National Honor Society)

Almost all who came, including pets, wore costumes, featuring a variety of characters and animals, including numerous Marvel and Minecraft characters.

“My favorite part about the event was seeing the children in their costumes; some of them were very creative,” said Mendez. 

Truly, the event was a memorable experience for everyone, including West Chicago resident, Lisa Fulton, and her son, Austin. 

“My son doesn’t like to dress up and we don’t get trick or treaters because we live on a dead-end, so this is a way for him to hand out candy and be a part of the fun,” said Fulton. 

West Chicago Community High School junior Effie Giannoudakos also attended Trunk or Treat with her sister, and said, “It was awesome and she loved it. She loved seeing everyone so dressed up and was very comfortable because everyone was so nice and talked to her.” 

According to Mendez, the sun-filled afternoon event attracted more visitors than initially expected.

Senior Rebecca Allison was one of those visitors. She said, “I’m new to West Chicago, and I’m a senior, so I didn’t expect such a huge turnout to this event. I expected a one-stop table where kids could get candy and then leave. I was shocked to say the least. The line of parents and children was very grand. Kids came in very fun costumes and the community seemed to appreciate the event a lot.”

West Chicago Public Library’s initiative is one many attendees hope will continued in the future. 

Attendees enjoy the Trunk or Treat event in the south parking lot of the West Chicago Public Library. (Photo courtesy of National Honor Society)