Families, children trick or treat with local businesses

Shelbi Stous, resident of Manhattan, gives candy to trick-or-treaters at the Westloop Bewitching event on Oct. 30, 2015. (Miranda Snyder | The Collegian)

Families from around the community visited West Loop Shopping Center for “Bewitching in Westloop,” an annual trick-or-treat event hosted by local businesses, for Halloween activities Friday evening.

Local businesses offered candy and Halloween activities to children and families who attended the event.

“It’s quite popular,” Ed Klimek, vice president of business development at KS StateBank, said. “It seems like the whole town comes out for it. It’s just one of those things where you can bring your kids and be safe and have a good, fun time.”

Upon arrival at the event, families had the option of donating $2 in order to receive a Treat Trail Map, which, once checked off by all the businesses offering candy along the Treat Trail, could be used as a ticket to enter prize drawings. Possible prizes to win included bicycles, pizza parties and gift cards. Proceeds from donations for Treat Trail Maps went to the Boy Scouts of America.

This year’s “Bewitching” faced chilly weather and rain, but according to Doug Chapman, sales representative with Q103.5 radio, that was no hindrance to the trick-or-treaters and their families.

“It’s a family thing that people come for every year, and most everybody owns an umbrella, so that won’t slow them down at all,” Chapman said.

Angie Reed, director of marketing and business development at K-State Federal Credit Union, said she was surprised that just as many children and families attended this year’s event despite the weather conditions.

“I actually can’t believe how many kids are out here,” Reed said. “It doesn’t look like the rain is going to let up, but they’re still coming. This year, it’s just the amazement of how many people have come out here in the rain.”

According to Reed, many families from the community are drawn to “Bewitching in Westloop” because they may feel that it is a safer alternative to typical neighborhood trick-or-treating.

“As a mom, I would say that it feels safer than running through neighborhoods that you don’t know,” Reed said. “It’s still light outside, and you just have a little bit more trust in businesses than in houses that you don’t know.”

Emily West, Manhattan resident, said she brings her children to “Bewitching in Westloop” each year because she feels it’s a way for them to get a trick-or-treating experience in an environment she knows is safe for them.

“I like it because it’s outdoors and (the kids) still get that sense of trick-or-treating door-to-door with safety,” West said. “They get a lot of candy and they enjoy it.”

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