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Trick or Treat Street serves up family-friendly thrills for thousands

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image Ariel and Flounder were in attendance. Photos Mitch Traphagen

Thousands turned out to show off their costumes and pick up some treats from local businesses and organizations


Sure, it was all fun and games while waiting in line. The day felt more like summer than Halloween-autumn. The sun was shining and children and their parents were laughing as they all inched ever closer to the metal steps leading up to the haunted school bus. One young man stood next in line, his eyes opened wide as he saw a young girl turn tail and run back out, with a good dose of fear mixed with her laughter. He dug in his heels and refused to take another step, certainly not the step up that would lead into the darkened interior. Any faith he may have had in his superhero costume had diminished. Diminished, perhaps, but it had not failed entirely. Soon, he was back in line, willing to try again.

Thousands of children and their parents turned out for the 25th annual Trick or Treat Street held on Saturday at Riverview High School. The event this year was bigger than ever, with booths, buses (of the haunted variety) and inflatable slides pushing well beyond the boundaries set in previous years. Even an hour after the 3:30 p.m. opening, the line of children waiting to enter snaked around the school, all awaiting their chance at candy, treats, and an offer of a pretty scary teeth cleaning from the more than 100 organizations that set up Halloween-themed booths at the event.

“This year’s event, in my opinion, was our best year yet,” said Tanya Doran, executive director of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. “The event becomes better each year.  It is made possible and successful because of all the caring and hardworking individuals involved. I am honored to work with such amazing and giving people. The local community supports and strongly participates in this special annual event.”

Trick or Treat Street was organized by the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce, Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Riverview High School.

Numerous area businesses and organizations sponsored the event including Chris’s Plumbing Service, FishHawk-Riverview Rotary Club, Mosaic, P.F. Auto Glass, Pepsi, S&S Tacos, Pizzas & Stuff, Riverview Sam’s Club, Sweetbay Supermarket, the Tampa Bay Times, Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, Waste Services of Florida, Brandon Regional Hospital, Tampa Electric Company, Brown’s Trophies, Kona Ice, Mackey Productions, Riverview Mortgage, and The Learning Experience.

Mike Self of S&S Taco / Pizza and Stuff was the event chairperson with Bart Miller of Sweetbay Supermarkets serving as co-chair. According to Doran, also instrumental to the success of the event were Riverview High School Principal Bob Heilmann, Kimberly Moss, Jim Johnson of Mosaic, Dave Ramirez and staff with Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation, Ed Booth of Huth & Booth Photography and Bill Kirkland.

Less than 24 hours after the young superhero took his tentative steps towards the haunted school bus, people behind the scenes were already planning ahead.

“We are already working on next year’s TOTS, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 25, 2014,” Doran said on Sunday.

Trick or Treat Street 2013 - Images by Mitch Traphagen

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