EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing families gathered to take part in the Great Pumpkin Walk on Oct. 29. It was the first time this event has taken place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Families dressed up in their favorite costumes and trick-or-treated with local businesses down Grand River Avenue and Albert Street.
“I loved to see everyone in their costumes,” said Sarah Cassani, a participant in the walk. “It is just great to see all the kids in their costumes with the parents. I can tell this is like a memory they will never forget.”
The event had many activities for kids in addition to trick-or-treating. Including a face painting station, live music, and a photobooth. Many parents viewed the event as a great way to have their kids enjoy Halloween, but also stay safe.
“This is definitely something we will come back to,” said Terrance Ritchie, a parent of two kids who attended the event. “I think in this day and age, plenty of parents may not feel as safe as they once did on Halloween. And this type of event can be seen as a healthy alternative.”
Many of the local business owners in the area sat outside their doors, dressed in costumes for the entire event and giving out candy and taking pictures with kids. So many of the kids wanted pictures that a line formed to wait to meet their favorite characters.
“It’s very fun to do this, the main part I love right now is seeing all of the costumes and getting to interact with everyone,” said local resident Sylvia, who was dressed as a scarecrow and did not provide a last name. “All of the kids are so happy and excited whenever they come up to get candy. It’s like they are proud of what they are wearing, and it just makes me so happy for them and for their parents.”
The costumes were a big part of the event, with participation from all ages.
“There have been so many cool costumes,” said Alexis Warren, an employee at one of the local businesses participating in the event. “My favorite one I saw just now, it was a little boy with his mom. The little boy was wearing a railroad crossing sign, and the mom was a conductor. It was really cute.”
The Great Pumpkin Walk provided more than just Halloween and trick-or-treating. It also gave East Lansing families and residents of all ages a fun and safe alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating for the holiday. The Great Pumpkin Walk will be hosted next year, and residents can find information leading up to next year’s event on the City of East Lansing website.