From drive-through treats to an outdoor party, organizers plan modified Halloween festivities in MLT this year

Crowds gather at a past Mountlake Terrace Trunk R Treat; this year’s event, due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be limited to a drive-through offering. (File photos by Doug Petrowski)

Over the past few years, Mountlake Terrace’s Town Center district has been the home for a pair of Halloween events for youngsters and their families. For 2020 — and despite the challenges that come with the current COVID-19 pandemic  — the leaders of both events have announced that their Halloween festivities will again be staged this year, but with some modifications.

The city’s Trunk R Treat event, held annually in a gravel parking lot in the 23200 block of 56th Avenue West since 2010, has been cancelled by its main sponsors the Mountlake Terrace Business Association (MLTBA), West Plaza and Espresso Break. But in its place, a drive-through experience will be offered during the late afternoon of Oct. 31.

“I will be setting up a station on the back side of Espresso Break to hand out candy as people drive-by in the parking lot with their trick-or-treaters in their car,” said MLTBA Vice President and Espresso Break owner Maria Ellis. “We shall have prepared bags of candy for the kids; we will be dressed up, masked up and gloved up all to make it safe and easy for all involved.”

This year’s offering, scheduled for 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, will not include the dozens of volunteers handing out candy from the trucks of their decorated vehicles as is the norm for the event. “Due to CDC guidelines, we regretfully cannot do a typical Trunk R Treat,” said West Plaza Property Manager Kirk Ishizaki.

While most won’t be onsite for this year’s event, volunteers from past Trunk R Treat nights are being asked to contribute to this year’s offering with donations of candy “so that we can fill our bags to the top,” said Ellis. Candy donations can be dropped off at the Espresso Break coffee stand on 56th Avenue West.

This year’s drive-through event will also be collecting non-perishable food donations for the Mountlake Terrace Concern for Neighbors Food Bank.

While hayrides have been a part of Calvary Fellowship’s annual Halloween Party, they won’t be included in this year’s scaled-down event.

Also occurring on Oct. 31 will be Calvary Fellowship’s annual family Halloween Party, but in a slightly scaled-down version from past years.

The church, located at 23302-56th Ave. W., hosts a yearly event that in the past has included food, candy, hayrides and other fun activities both inside and outside. “We knew that gathering indoors isn’t feasible during the pandemic,” said Calvary’s lead pastor Riley Taylor. “But we are deeply committed to gathering in any way possible. So we talked about how we can pull something off that tries to bless our community like we do each year.”

The church is putting its large parking lot to use to make this year’s event work.

“The main difference is that this year’s Halloween party is outdoors,” Taylor continued. “Families can park, walk through and enjoy community, candy and other treats out of people’s cars. It’s like a mixture of trick-or-treating and a car show.”

The party will feature six “chutes” that will dispense candy for kids to grab and enjoy. Other highlights of the event will include fire pits, free coffee and cider, and outdoor showings of the 25-minute animated feature It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown starting at 6:30 p.m.

Calvary Fellowship’s Halloween Party is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on October 31. “It’s fun, it’s quick, it’s safe and it’s for the whole family,” Taylor added.

— By Doug Petrowski

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