by John NordstrandOn Sunday, October 31st, from 2-5pm, a cornucopia of diminutive darlings disguised as everything from witches and warlocks to pirates and princesses will stroll the streets of Fremont. The annual Trick-or-Treat in Fremont, as produced by Kirby Lindsay, and sponsored by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, will enthusiastically welcome costumed kiddies to the Fremont business district.
A Simple Plan
Simply put, participating businesses distribute treats – that they’ve acquired – to children, who dress in costume and have an adult accompany them. Many business owners have described Trick-or-Treat in Fremont (ToT) as the easiest, least expensive and most fun of all community activities.
Sue Sanem, owner of Portage Bay Goods, a long time supporter of ToT, heaps high praise on the event. “As a business owner, I'm thrilled to get more people in the door, even if it's just for a minute,” she explained, “but really, it's about the kids having a great time.”
Fremont Chamber Executive Director, Jessica Vets, amplified on the community effect, “Trick-or-Treat Fremont has been a huge success as more children and adults participate annually. Businesses enjoy participating, and offering a safe arena for families to Trick-or-Treat without the anxiety of dark, residential streets and the worry of tainted candy.”
Tamara Rose, General Manager of The Ballroom, explained by e-mail, “our business is not open to people under the age of 21, so it is nice to see and meet all of the community members that we don’t have the pleasure of encountering most days of the year.”
Yet, Rose also enjoys ToT as a parent. She relocated to Seattle four years ago and, “in Chicago, I was never comfortable trick or treating with my children in the neighborhoods that we lived.” She participated in business district trick-or-treats there, “a great alternative,” she explained. “Although Seattle is not nearly as dangerous,” she wrote, “it is great to be able to take them out during the afternoon.”
Also a parent, Sanem reported that, “my kids would start trick-or-treating first thing in the morning, if they were allowed to.” She likes being able to take them out during daylight hours, and explained that, “at least this way they get to hang out in the afternoon in one of their favorite neighborhoods.”
Kirby Lindsay, owner of Fremocentrist.com, has produced a Trick-or-Treat event in Fremont since the mid ‘90’s. However, Lindsay credits Charlotte Buchanan, neighborhood retail goddess and owner of GlamOrama, with the original idea – and organized by her first in 1994.
After Buchanan moved on to other promotions, the Fremocentrist put her own spin on ToT. For one thing, she immediately changed the quality of the treats.
“I am a candy connoisseur,” Lindsay has declared. Buchanan collected a fee from participating businesses to purchase candy collectively. As a retailer, at that time, Lindsay took part but, “the bulk candy wasn’t very good.”
Under her reign, she gave responsibility for choosing treats to the individual business owners, and eliminated the participation fee. Now businesses can personalize treats, hand out something besides candy, decorate and/or get in costume, as they like. Also the business owners can decide how much to spend on treats, and how much poundage they want to accumulate by having particularly tempting treats on hand.
Lindsay also explained how the Fremont ToT stands out from others, as it always takes place on Halloween Day – not the nearest Saturday. Finally, Fremont ToT remains a much more community event – with the children more likely to be local, either living here or related to employees/business owners from this community.
For interested children, and their parents, all they need do is visit Fremont between 2p and 5p on Sunday, October 31st and stroll the businesses. A list of some participating businesses can be referenced on-line, although every one that welcomes children will have a ToT poster on their front door or window.
“Everything about Halloween nearly screams ‘Fremont!’,” Lindsay said, “costumes, celebration, and inexpensive entertainment.” Come down, get treats or give treats, and get in the spirit of Halloween, in Fremont.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.