A ‘treat’ for kids: Avenue B ‘Trunk or Treat’ hits 10th year

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016

With clear skies across the entire region, thousands of kids and adults took to the streets Monday to trick or treat in neighborhoods and at community events.

One of those events was the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church’s annual trunk or treat event at the Avenue B Baseball Park. Pastor Pete Underwood said the turnout was at an all-time high.

Underwood’s church has been sponsoring the event for 10 years and, while their counting machine broke in the second hour, Underwood estimates 2,700 people showed up.

“Oh my goodness, on a scale of one to 10, it was a 25. When we started 10 years ago we had 250 people the first time,” he said. Underwood said in the first hour, 1,500 people showed up and, for the first time, Bogalusa police had to help direct traffic near the event.

A trunk-or-treat event combines candy with cars, as various vehicles’ trunks are opened, decorated and filled with candy. As this is a church event, there is also some Christian messaging alongside the candy.

“Some people treat Halloween likes it’s the devil’s holiday … but we figure it’s a great opportunity to show support for our community and show our faith,” he said. “At the front, we do a drama presentation that reads into the life of Christ … But we don’t push it, and there’s a ton of candy on the way out.”

Underwood said his church decided to start the big community event as a way to do Christian outreach into the community and to offer something fun as well.

“Well, most of the churches around here have a fall festival. There’s nothing wrong with those, but we try to do something outward,” he said. “Most of the time churches, and even ours at that time, focused exclusively on the membership and we forget about the community around us.”

Underwood said years ago, before the crowd got so big, he would ask people to fill out informational cards to figure out where they were coming from. He’d regularly see people from other cities, parishes and from outside the state.

“We used to have people come in from Covington from and from the Mississippi side from Poplarville, and we’d have people come from Franklinton,” he said. “We’d have people from all around, which is really impressive to me that they’d want to be part if this event.”