In Riverview: Trick or Treat Street returns for 29th year

From Trick or Treat Street. MITCH TRAPHAGEN FILE PHOTO

By YVETTE C. HAMMETT

Gather round young goblins and ghouls, sparkly princesses and bold Wonder Woman types. It is time for Trick or Treat Street, only this year, it will take place during the day, and the children’s play area is free.

For the 29th year, the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce will host Trick or Treat Street at Riverview High School, with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office, the high school and Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation acting as cohosts.

From 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, youngsters can enter costume contests, and trick or treat at more than 50 booths and play games.

The ever-popular dog costume contest is also on again this year, and typically draws 15 to 20 pups — always a hit with the crowd, said Debbie Kirkland, membership director for the chamber.

“The main thing we are emphasizing is the new time,” said Chamber Executive Director Tanya Doran. “We’d hate for anyone to show up at 7 p.m. when we’re breaking it down.”

The time change comes because of suggestions from those who attend, which are mostly families with young children, she said.

“It’s also a safety reason,” she said, though there have not been any issues with the nighttime events. “We want folks to be able to enjoy this during daylight hours.”

The whole purpose for this annual event is to create a safe place for children to enjoy trick-or-treating and for their parents to get to know local businesses that sponsor booths, along with community churches and organizations.

Last year, between 6- and 8,000 people converged on the fields at Riverview High to enjoy wearing costumes, purchasing food, enjoying bounce houses and winning prizes. Kirkland said the chamber expects about the same crowd this year.

Huth and Booth Photography PHOTOS
The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce will present Trick or Treat Street Oct. 28, now in its 29th year. A crowd of between 6- and 8,000 people are expected. This year, the event runs from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. instead of in the evening, as in past years.

“We are expecting 60 to 70 vendors, anywhere from people selling food to those giving out candy, which most do,” Doran said.

This year, the event scored a real coup when The Alley, Riverview’s only bowling venue, decided to sponsor the children’s play area, which contains bounce houses and other inflatables. Most years, tickets for this area have been either $5 or $10, Doran said. This year, people can stop by The Alley booth and get wristbands to enter the area for free.

“This is a huge deal, because it’s a big expense,” Doran said. “They took it on so the play zone will be at no charge for those who get a wristband.”

Many other activities will also take place, with a number of them sponsored by Riverview High School Clubs. Any booths that charge a fee will put that money back into the clubs, Doran said.

The Krewe of the South Shore Marauders will be there with their very large pirate ship and with the krewe members dressed in full pirate costume. “It’s pretty spectacular to have that pirate ship sitting out there,” Doran said.

“It’s truly a community event,” she said.

Food and drinks are available for purchase.

Dog owners are encouraged to bring their canine pals for the Four Paws Veterinary Hospital Dog Costume Contest. Dogs can be entered for $10, all of which goes to benefit C.A.R.E., or Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort, Inc.

The costume contests for kids, which cost $5, will provide prizes for the kids. Times will be: newborn to 3 years old, 3:30 p.m.; 4 to 7 years old, 4 p.m.; 8 to 11 years old, 5 p.m.; 12 to 15 years old, 5:30 p.m.

There is still time to host a booth. For more information, call the chamber at 813-234-5944 or email info@riverviewchamber.com.

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