More than 1,500 people showed up to the drive-thru trick-or-treat event at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Saturday.
Trick-or-treating started at 5 p.m., and at 7 p.m., visitors could watch the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas” in a drive-in style setting.
“We know this year has been difficult for so many families with events and celebrations getting canceled,” said Erryn Andersen, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the Northwest, in a press release. “We wanted to bring the community together to celebrate Halloween in a safe and distant manner to give kids an opportunity to still wear their costumes out and watch a great holiday film.”
U.S. Cellular was one of the sponsors for the event. Brooke Communications, The News-Review and other local businesses also sponsored the event.
“It was a lot of fun and from what I could see, everyone was happy,” said Rachelle Carter, vice president of Brooke Communications and general manager of The News-Review. “That was the goal. We didn’t want to see another thing taken from the kids this year because of COVID. As adults, we understand all the restrictions. Little kids do not. Hopefully, they saw this as just a different way to celebrate Halloween and not another restriction or cancellation.”
Candy bags were handed to families in their cars on Saturday and the first 300 children received a free pumpkin bag.
There was no overarching theme, but most staff and sponsors participated by wearing costumes and decorating the booths.
“The best part of was seeing our community come together to put on such a huge event,” Carter said. “We had no idea that it would be so popular.”
Traffic was backed up on Interstate 5 for several hours during the event, which ended before 10 p.m.
Editor’s Note: Brooke Communications and The News-Review share common ownership.