Lincoln County youth may finally be coming down from the sugar high achieved over the Halloween weekend but the OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program and Oregon Coast Aquarium are still savoring the sweet success of this year’s partnership on Trick-or-Treat Street. The annual Halloween event, held this year following the Aquarium’s Creatures of the Day offering, attracted over 1,400 people and brought in 2,600 pounds in food donations for Food Share of Lincoln County.
The line may have been long to get into Trick-or-Treat Street, but live music at the Aquarium entrance followed by treat-laden storefronts amongst the exhibits and a Halloween Sensations Table with touchable ghoulish delights capping it all off resulted in smiles and satisfied kids and adults as they completed their tour. Storefront operators also expressed how much they enjoyed the evening, including the non-stop, 2-hour parade of unique and entertaining costumes – everything from giant dinosaurs to Thomas the Train to traditional witches and goblins.
The 4-H organizers were excited to partner with the Aquarium on this third iteration of the event, recognizing that a free opportunity to see some of the Aquarium exhibits could only increase interest – plus the bonus of a dry venue if it happened to rain. Admission was free with a recommended donation of 2 cans of people or pet food per person. Both 4-H and the Aquarium are committed to giving back to their community, with events such as this offering a unique opportunity to do so on multiple fronts.
Local businesses also capitalized on the opportunity to serve, either with cash donations or by supporting one of the 20 mock storefronts at which the youth trick-or-treated.
Contributors include Warfield Logging, Power Motors, Shangri-La, Cobblestone Pizza, Lincoln County Animal Shelter, Walmart, OSU Extension Nutrition Program, Roby’s Furniture, Subway, JC Market, Oregon Parks and Recreation, Power Ford, Pizza Me, Mid Columbia Bus, Mini Pet Mart, Newport Rental, Safeway, KayBee’s Cakery, Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet, and the 4-H Program.
As with any event of this type, none of it would be possible without the dedication of countless volunteers and supporters. The 4-H Program thanks the businesses who supported the event, media who promoted it, 4-H parents and volunteers, Aquarium staff and volunteers, and the Newport Police Volunteers. Together everyone helped ensure that the evening went smoothly and offered a fun experience for all. Inspired by everyone’s enthusiastic participation, organizers are already looking to possible expansions and improvements for next year’s event. They welcome community input and are looking forward to making next year even better!