At 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 cars filled the parking lot of Bath High School and were lined up the driveway until the road. Costumed kids were flowing in a steady stream with their parents and grandparents to the center of the action. A child in an inflatable dinosaur costume waddled to the back of the line, waiting for the Halloween festivities.
The reason hundreds of children were here was Bath’s annual Truck or Treat. The event has happened over 10 years and grows in community involvement each year. Now it’s an opportunity for families and community institutions to interact.
This was the significance of the event for Rachel Giddings, who was dressed in a highlighter group costume with her husband and son.
“It really brings a sense of the community being together,” Giddings said.
“Of course he,” pointing to her son Jacob, “loves it for the candy, so it’s a win-win.”
At the event there were local businesses and community groups handing out candy from decorated vehicles. There were stations for the local police and firefighters, to the Ladies Auxiliary of the local American Legion chapter. First Vice Heather Whitman said that she enjoyed seeing people from the community out having a good time.
“Of course, it’s kids so they aren’t old enough to be members necessarily,” Whitman, 40, said. “But it’s just great to get out their and contribute to the community, we do a lot of stuff for the schools and sporting events.”
With the appeal of candy, the event provided an opportunity to reach children. This was perfect for Sue Garrity, the board of trustees president for the Bath Public Library. This outreach is important for the library as it wasn’t established until 2017, so word is still spreading to the community.
“This is our third year participating in the event,” Garrity said. “It’s been super interesting, because even now handing out flyers there are people who live here who say “There’s a library in Bath?” even though we send stuff home with elementary school students.”
For the library and other community groups, like the booth for the Bath Days Festival. The event was mostly about spreading the word to children and their families. This was also the goal of the people promoting the Bath Days Festival that occurs each August. For children like 10-year-old Max Mccallister, however, the mind is focused on just one thing.
“Getting candy and having fun,” Max said excitedly. “I’ve been here every year.”
For parents like Katie Matsuda “seeing the excitement” on her child’s face is what she was there for.
Charles Hauser, 32, of Granger Waste Management, who have attended the past couple years, loves being out in the community to see this.
“The best thing is watching these kids smile when they see the garbage truck and when we hand them some candy,” Hauser said. “They get to touch the truck, and see it up close and talk to our garbagemen, which from the window they can’t always do, but it’s always a positive experience”