Hoards of young, ghastly ghouls, supreme superheroes and pretty princesses craving sugary treats are expected to descend upon Guilderland High School for more than just a bounty of candy.
Guilderland High School is preparing to host its 10th annual Trick-or-Treat Street Saturday, Oct. 26. The event will see the school’s halls, cafeteria and gymnasium transformed into a Halloween haven. The school’s classes of 2014 and 2015 host the event as a fundraiser for events like proms and senior ball, but a portion of proceeds will also benefit Adopt a Family.
The event has grown every year and around 1,500 children attended the event last fall. The candy budget alone has increased by more than six-fold when compared to the first event.
“We started out very small … I think we were maybe 20 classrooms and one little cafeteria, and now we are three-quarters of the whole building,” said Ann Marie McManus, Class of 2014 co-adviser and a staff member at the high school.
McManus has been at the helm since spurring the inaugural event, which is also organized by students of the graduating class each year. Feedback about the event also been positive, she said, and has helped shape its growth.
“Every year we evolve and change it has much as we can,” McManus said. “I see the same faces year after year, so we must be doing something right to have them keep coming back.”
District Superintendent Marie Wiles agreed the Halloween event has become a welcomed festivity for the community.
“Trick-or-Treat Street has become a wonderful tradition in Guilderland,” Wiles said. “Children of all ages look forward to this opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy the spirit of Halloween in a safe and fun environment.”
“Trick-or-Treat Street” is not confined to the district, though, because anyone can attend the event.
“I have gotten emails, phone calls from outside the district thanking me for the event,” McManus said.
Mimi Falcone, a senior helping organizing the event, said planning the event is stressful at times, but it’s also very rewarding.
“I definitely love seeing every year all the kids that come out in the community,” Falcone said. “I really think it is awesome some many people think of Trick-or-Treat Street as a safe, fun environment.”
Falcone is looking forward to seeing the carnival up and running, because this year is going to be bigger than ever.
“We are adding a bouncy bounce and a couple more attractions and we are adding another food vendor,” she said.
The cafeteria will be transformed into a haunted house and the gym will hold all carnival activities, including games and prizes.
“Pretty much everyone is a winner at every game, so the kids don’t go home crying,” McManus said.
There will be magician holding three magic shows throughout the event in the auditorium, and carnival clowns to entertain visitors.
This year, Guilderland Martial Arts will hold presentations and Michele’s Charcoal Pit will offer homemade French fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, Philly cheesesteaks and grilled chicken. For a cooler treat, TCBY will offer frozen yogurt. Some of the additional food and refreshments include popcorn, pizza, cotton candy, water and juice.
McManus said seeing high school students entertain children who are trick-or-treating is worth all the effort of preparation.
“I just like seeing kids dressed up and I love seeing the way they interact with the high schoolers,” she said. “I think the big kids get a kick out of seeing the little kids react to how they dress up.”
There is a $5 cost for children entering the event, but adults can get in for free. Many activities are free, but some things cost money, such as food and raffles.
Trick-or-Treat Street lasts from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, but trick-or-treating ends at 7. Additional parking is at the rear of the school.