ENGLEWOOD — Antioch Community Social Service Agency will bring trick-or-treating to Kennedy-King College this year.
And this year’s fest will include “trunk or treating.”
Trunk-or-treat serves as an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating — instead of kids going door-to-door in their neighborhood, pre-approved community members will fill the trunks of their cars with candy at Kennedy-King College, 6301 S. Halsted St., for kids to select from with adult supervision.
In addition to the treats, there will be a petting zoo, games, storytelling from the Chicago Public Library and more.
Joe Cook, youth pastor at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, said Kennedy-King College was their preferred choice because of its central location within Englewood. This year they are anticipating 750-1,000 participants, a significant increase from their typical 500.
“We’re just creating a safe alternative from going door-to-door in the Englewood community.” Cook said. “With the recent violence in Chicago, especially in the Englewood community, we don’t even want to risk it if we can. If we can reduce everything to a single location that is what we are going to do.”
Cook said the cars filled with candy are from volunteers from the church, Residents Association of Greater Englewood and other community organizations. He estimated 50 cars will be have candy for kids. People interested in volunteering can call Cook at 773-592-6550.
Providing kids a safe, fun outlet as opposed to less desirable options is one of the underlying goals of the event as well.
“I feel like we have to reach the young generation and get them early on and keep them on a good path. And we also want to find an alternative to the street life,” Cook said. “My main focus is always to ignite, excite and just give the kids something to run and grasp for.”
Asiaha Butler, president of R.A.G.E., said growing up in Englewood she used to trick-or-treat on South Aberdeen Street. But in recent years, she hasn’t gotten any visits from trick-or-treaters and understands some parents may be “leery” about going door-to-door in the neighborhood. She said R.A.G.E. will be partnering with the church for the third time this Harvest Fest.
“This is just an opportunity to show our young people that we understand that Halloween can be scary for a lot of families in Englewood and this gives them an alternative,” Butler said.