For the past dozen years, Manatee CrimeStoppers has offered a “safe” Trick-or-Treating event on Halloween so children didn’t have to go door-to-door in their neighborhoods to fill their sacks with candy.
The event will continue this year but at a brand new location.
After 10 years at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium and two years at the Manatee County Fairgrounds, CrimeStoppers has been invited this year to hold its event in the vacant Boater’s World storefront at DeSoto Square mall, just to the south of the entrance to the mall food court, Manatee CrimeStoppers Executive Director Frank Brunner announced Monday.
The 13th annual Manatee CrimeStoppers Halloween “Safe Kids Night,” is set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, at the mall at 303 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton.
“This is a terrific location because it has an outside entrance and is easy to find because of its blue awnings,” Brunner said. “We are right between the food court and Sears.”
As in past years, the Manatee CrimeStoppers event is expected to draw roughly 2,500 to 3,000 during its three hours, making it probably the largest “safe” Trick-or-Treat event in the area, Brunner added.
“We pushed the starting time back to 5:30 p.m. because it’s a school night,” Brunner said. “But we always keep it on Halloween because we think that’s when kids love to go Trick-or-Treating.”
Brunner and others from CrimeStoppers are already busy bringing tables and decorations to the vacant Boater’s World to turn it into a Halloween party site.
Some neighborhoods are not well lit and some don’t have sidewalks. We offer a safe environment filled with public safety officials. And guess what, if a child were to visit all of our booths, he or she would get the same amount of candy as knocking on 20 or 30 doors in a neighborhood.
Frank Brunner, Manatee Crimestoppers
CrimeStoppers also will have a public safety display in the parking lot outside Boater’s World with patrol cars and ambulances, Brunner said.
“We will have games and bounce houses inside Boater’s World and it’s all free,” Brunner added.
“Safe Kids Night” sponsors, including Tropicana, MCR Health Services, Florida Power and Light, Waste Management and others, will have booths inside Boater’s World and representatives will educate parents and supply treats to the kids, Brunner said.
After kids have filled their sacks at CrimeStoppers, they can walk directly into the mall and also get candy at many of the businesses inside, whose employees have volunteered to take part in the event, Brunner added.
“Some neighborhoods are not well lit and some don’t have sidewalks,” Brunner said regarding the origin of ‘Safe Kids Night.’ “We offer a safe environment filled with public safety officials. And, guess what, if a child were to visit all of our booths, he or she would get the same amount of candy as knocking on 20 or 30 doors in a neighborhood.”
Area Trick-or-Treat ‘safe’ events
- Costumes plus mathematics equal Monster Math Night at Jesse P. Miller Elementary School. The event is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the school, 601 43rd St. W., Bradenton. Age appropriate activities are planned for pre-K through fifth grades. Students wearing costumes will move station-to-station while gathering knowledge and candy.
- Children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes to “Spooky Storytime with Trick-or-Treating.” The event will be held 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at South Manatee Library, 6081 26th St. W., Bradenton.
- When Bradenton’s New Path Academy host its 2nd annual Trunk-or-Treat and Fall Festival, families will be able to enjoy bounce houses, slides, games and a haunted house as well as receiving treats from the decorated trunks of vehicles parked in the school’s parking lot. New Path’s Trunk-or-Treat, which also features a visit from The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society Crewe and its “Hern,” is scheduled 6-8 p.m. Friday at the school, 2531 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton.
- The Village of the Arts will be hosting its “Community Trick-or-Treat Stroll” for families with young children 6-8 p.m. Monday. Residents and business owners in the downtown Bradenton community have decorated with a child-friendly theme and will be handing out treats. The epicenter of the event is 1113 12th St. W., Bradenton.
- BOO Fest will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a Wizard of Oz themed celebration featuring haunted rides, costume contest, storefront window painting contest on Main Street, a spooktacular dark maze, trick or treating and much more. There will be Wizard of Oz characters in eclectic costumes, a haunted yellow brick road with family picture opportunities, an all new mobile video game truck with Wii, dance games, balloon artist and performances by local dance academies. The event is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, 941-757-1530 or lwrcac.com/boofest. 6-9 p.m. Friday.