The zombies crawled out of the woodwork to overwhelm candy givers at the inaugural Trunk or Treat event organized by Saline Main Street in downtown Saline Thursday night.
A huge crowd of costumed kids – perhaps four times more than expected – filled the Key Bank parking lot, where local business owners and organization staff handed out goodies from the backs of their trucks.
Organizers expected 150-200 kids. 20 minutes into the event, Fire Chief Craig Hoeft was down to a few pieces of candy and called his firefighters to bring reinforcements.
Karen Ragland, who is providing support to Saline Main Street while a new manager is found, estimated that anywhere from 500 to 600 kids, plus their parents and chaperones, participated in the event.
“How fabulous was that? It was great. The parking lot was packed solid,” Ragland said.
Not only was the parking lot packed solid, the line to get into the lot stretched all the way back to the corner of Michigan Avenue and Ann Arbor Street.
Many of the 25 or so candy givers called for more candy supplies when they realized the extent of the crowd. On top of that, Ragland had volunteer John Ambrose go out for supplies.
“He filled up a cart full of candy and spent over $100. We gave two bags of candy to ever car. And when it was all done, we only had one bag left,” Ragland said.
No one ever knows what to expect when organizing a new event. Still, the response blew away all expectations.
“It was crazy. Crazy fun,” Ragland said. “It was a fabulous response. Quite frankly, I have no idea where all the people came from. We had a huge crowd even though two elementary schools were having their events too.”
Kids also enjoyed cider and donuts. They played seasonal games – like eating donuts off a string.
Ragland said the vendors who participated did a great job. Many of them were in costumes themselves.
Will there be a second annual Trunk or Treat and Zombie Crawl?
“Absolutely,” Ragland said. “We were just discussing where to do it. We know we need to expand it and have more vendors.”
For more information about Saline Main Street events visit www.salinemainstreet.org.