Tricked-out cars treat children at Halloween event

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Christine Puentes and Matt Eldred even got their dog Mordy involved in their theme. “I definitely love how it brings together everyone. Being around friends, hanging out with friends and the kids, it’s just the openness of the environment that is great.” said Puentes. “Absolutely, you know, it is a cool Sunday afternoon, family environment. We have got a ton of friends here, all of whom have kids, so it is just kind of an extension of that, you have all ages represented here. And it is just an easy environment, too, to be a part of,” added Eldred.

The First Christian Church in Lansing hosted its annual Trunk-or-Treat event on Oct. 29, following the morning’s service. Community members decorated the trunks of their cars and handed out candy to children.

The event began around 12:30 p.m. and lasted about an hour, with many kids coming to trick-or-treat. Attendees were not just from the church, as the event was open to anyone who wanted to participate.

“I think we started about three or four years ago or so because it’s not really safe to have your kids go out trick or treating, and everybody gets involved,” said Stew McAlvey, a participant in the event and a member of the church. “Adults have just as much fun as the kids do. And the neighborhood kids are coming around, so it’s not even just kids from the church.”

Some went all-out to make their trunk a show-stopper. Churchgoer Eli Burton used the event to showcase a game the kids could play to earn candy.

“I went with a simple carnival theme this time,” said Burton. “So, this is a ring toss. There are witches hats and you just toss the ring around the witch’s hat. But, I am a pushover so you don’t actually have to get the ring on the hat to get a piece of candy.”

Nicole and Josh Martin said this event was a chance to continue their recent family Halloween trip to Disneyland, both through their costumes and in their trunk.

“Well we are huge Disney fans,” she said  about her family’s trunk theme. “We are big ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘Haunted Mansion’ fans, and every year they change the haunted mansion (ride at Disney) over into the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’  So our trunks and characters represent the mashup of the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ and Halloween and the ‘Haunted Mansion.’”

Each of their costumes also stuck to the theme.

“I was a tightrope-walking girl from the ‘Haunted Mansion,’ mixed with Sally from the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas,’ and he was a character from the ‘Haunted Mansion’ as well, mixed with Jack Skellington,” said Martin of her and her husband. “We had a whole bunch of awesome makeup too, when we went to Disney, because we wore our costumes when we were there too… but we didn’t go all out with that makeup for this as much.”

Both Nicole and Josh Martin said they were passionate about making their trunks stand out.

“We love Halloween, we get elaborate family costumes every year, I love to sew so I make a lot of our costumes. So, it is just a fun way to, as an adult, dress up and pass out candy and make the kids happy,” she said.

Danielle Murphy, the Children’s Ministry Leader for the First Christian Church, used her trunk as an opportunity to highlight her daughter’s love for outer space.

“Lana wanted to be an astronaut, because they get to go to outer space,” Murphy said. “So we made our costumes to go with hers; so I am the solar system, my husband is the moon, and my daughter is an alien.”

Others chose to stick to a theme that has been popular for Halloween since the 1990s. Carin McEvoy has been reading one “Harry Potter” book to her children each year, and they just finished the fourth book together.

“They all wanted to be Hogwarts students for Halloween,” said McEvoy of her children. “So, of course, I had to match the theme. I was initially going to do the Honeydukes candy shop, but someone said ‘Oh you should make Butterbeer.’ So I was like ‘Done, sold.’ So I went online and found a recipe for butterbeer — which is simply a mix of cream soda, butterscotch syrup, and vanilla ice cream — and I carved out the Three Broomsticks sign last night, and my daughter made the Harry Potter pumpkin.”

McEvoy – with the help of her husband Jim, who was preparing the butterbeer in the kitchen – served butterbeer out of a cauldron in her trunk throughout the event. She added to the effect by chilling the cauldron with dry ice, making it appear to be brewing. McEvoy hopes to serve her homemade butterbeer again on Halloween night to trick-or-treaters who stop by her house.