By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Halloween is only a week away, and kids will soon be out hitting the streets for candy in bright or scary costumes. The night doesn’t have to begin at sundown, however, as the Newkirk Chamber of Commerce will hold the popular Monsters on Main Street by the Kay County Courthouse to offer kids a safe environment on their trek for candy.
The event has shown to be popular among families, as large crowds have participated in the past few years, with estimates of about 300 children participating in 2018.
Although the Chamber was created to promote the business community, they spearheaded Monsters on Main Street to promote the community as a whole and get people out and having fun.
“It’s just a community outreach, to get people together, to get people out downtown to have fun,” said Chamber President Debbie Leaming.
Many businesses, churches and other civic groups will be participating with decorated vehicles or booths, but individual families and even school groups may participate, not just Chamber members.
“Everyone is allowed to come, you don’t have to be part of a group or church organization. If you’ve never had the experience, this is your chance to come,” Leaming said. “You can go as big or as small as you want, you can decorate your car or wear a costume.”
The event begins at 5 p.m. in the northern parking lot of the Courthouse Square. Cars will fill the parking spots, decorated with fun and spooky themes, and kids may visit each vehicle for candy.
At 5:30, there will be a costume contest. Age divisions are birth – 3, 4 – 6, 7 – 9, 10 – 12 and 13 – adult. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each division.
There will additionally be a Trunk or Treat program at First United Methodist Church (FUMC), beginning at 5 p.m. Like Monsters on Main Street, cars will be decorated in the parking lot, and costumed children will be able to visit each one for a variety of items, including candy, baked goods, bottled water and other treats.
“We use this as an outreach for our church,” said volunteer Ronda Martin.
Both events wrap up about 7 p.m., offering families plenty of time to go trick or treating later in the night.
“The best part is, if you want to do traditional trick-or-treating, going door-to-door in the neighborhood, there is plenty of time for that,” Leaming said. “This is 100 percent free, so come on up, get some candy and visit with you neighbors.”
For more information, contact the Chamber, 114 S. Main St., at (580) 362-2155, or FUMC, 101 S. Walnut, at (580) 362-2929.