KILAUEA — Tonight, Anaina Hou Community Park is hosting a haunted hale drive-thru trick-or-treating event for keiki starting at 6:30.
And as the event gets darker and spookier, at 7:45 p.m. there will be more surprises and Halloween monsters catered towards the fright appetite of big kids.
The event is designed to be safe and inclusive for all families, organizers said.
After a family reached out to Anaina Hou Community Park staff with concerns for their daughter who is at risk of seizures triggered by strobe lights, the team decided to make the event a non-strobe event. Volunteers and staff were asked not to include any strobes or blinking lights in their hale decorations or costumes.
The event is also planned to be pandemic-safe, with the event being contactless and event workers masked.
It is not just keiki looking forward to the event.
Staff members and several organizations including the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i North Shore Community Foundation, Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union, Kaua‘i Police Department and Hanalei Bay Resort will be supporting the event logistics and manning the hale in costume.
“From a staff perspective, it is our most-fun event of the year. It just makes everybody feel good,” said Anaina Hou Executive Director Jill Lowry.
Ruth Melchor, a cafe associate, worked the event last year with her family, and can’t wait for the event.
“I’ll be honest, I (was) not a Halloween person. I never was. But I am now because of this event,” Melchor said. “It definitely was such an amazing experience not only for the children, but for us as a staff, to see all the kids and see how excited they were at all the hard work that we did.”
Melchor is a mother of three kids under the age of 12, and appreciates that there is a safe option for families to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic.
While supply-chain problems may be worthy of a Halloween horror film, they won’t prevent candy hand-outs tonight.
“My candy order got canceled, so we were in a last-minute panic,” Lowry said. “Fortunately, there’s an abundance of candy here available.”
To avert a candy crisis, staff members drove to Walmart and purchased two overflowing carts worth of candy to prepare for the evening.
Lowry estimates that last year’s Halloween event brought between 800 and 1,000 cars, but with pandemic restrictions loosening Lowry is not sure what to expect this year.
“You can do it in lieu of trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, or you can do it in addition to trick-or-treating in your neighborhood. It’s just meant to be a safe, fun community event,” said Lowry.
The event is free and open to the public at the Anaina Hou Community Park at 5-2723 Kuhio Hwy. Kilauea.
Laurel Smith, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island