Three Star Mall was packed with spooks, ghouls, princesses and other characters as an estimated 3,000 trick-or-treaters flocked to the warm, dry mall to receive a bounty of treats.
With the Civic Center out of commission while under construction, and the cold temperatures and rain putting a damper on the walking trail used for the annual Trail of Treats, the event was moved inside Three Star Mall combining with the mall’s own yearly Halloween celebration, Mall-O-Ween.
“We were happy to provide a safe and warm environment for trick-or-treaters,” says mall manager Sigourney Younglove. “It’s just another way to give back to the community. My favorite part was watching my own kids trick-or-treat and seeing the smiles and enjoyment from all of the children.”
Younglove says approximately 2,000 to 3,000 trick-or-treaters were in attendance Thursday night. Younglove also claims it was possible Thursday’s number of attendees might have reached close to 4,000.
“All of the participants remained safe, and the majority of the stores and vendors didn’t run out of candy, even though there were a large number of trick-or-treaters in attendance,” says Younglove.
The majority of the stores in the mall and between 30 to 33 vendors from local churches, organizations and charities participating in the Trail of Treats handed out 2,000 to 3,000 pieces of candy. The amount of candy the mall gave away was the largest number since Mall-O-Ween began.
“A lot of the feedback I received was positive,” says Younglove. “One woman approached me to express her gratitude for doing this. That was really encouraging for me.”
Crowd control, parking and traffic issues affected attendees since the Trail of Treats combined with Three Star Mall’s Mall-O-Ween due to inclement weather without much time to create the proper accommodations. However, Younglove states there were no major negative incidents.
“Other than the condition of getting in and out of the parking lot, it seemed to go smoothly,” says Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord. “Vendors came with the right amount of candy, but the mall was a confined space compared to the trail. The event ran as smoothly as can be expected with how quickly the location had to be changed.”
Younglove states a plan will be made for next year’s Mall-O-Ween to help with organization, traffic jams, crowd control and making the event run more smoothly, regardless if the Civic Center will be involved next year or not.
“We were lucky to have police controlling traffic. Patrons waited in lines along the streets to enter the mall’s parking lot which was full,” adds Younglove. “We are very thankful for the police helping with crowd-control, providing safe entry and exit from the parking lot, as well as their involvement in helping everything run smoothly.”
The next celebrations coming to Three Star Mall will be for Christmas. Wonderland of Trees will be setting up in two weeks, and Santa is anticipated to arrive on Black Friday as stores have large sales.