Halloween is a mere three weeks away but the federal shutdown is throwing a monkey wrench on the Rotary Club of Saipan’s hosting of the annual Trunk or Treat.
Rotary president Laila Y. Boyer said that if the U.S. government shutdown lasts up to Oct. 31, they will have no choice but to look for other venues. The event has always been held at the American Memorial Park.
“Trunk or Treat will have to be moved because of the U.S. federal government shutdown so the alternate venues Rotary is looking at are the Oleai Sports Complex parking lot or the Joeten Superstore. Rotary is in discussions with the management of the two venues,” she said during the club’s weekly meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan yesterday.
Rotary vice president Richard Cody, however, said he doesn’t recommend moving the event to the sport complex parking lot because of traffic concerns.
The complex, which houses the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Baseball Field, “Tan Ge” Basa Softball Field, and soccer field, is located along Beach Road, which is a main thoroughfare.
Rotary member Agnes McPhetres, for her part, suggested using the Marianas Business Plaza as an alternate venue.
She said the Susupe landmark’s parking lot is spacious and traffic can easily be rerouted because it’s not along a main thoroughfare.
One concern, though, is that the event may conflict with the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library’s own Halloween activity. The library is a stone throw away from the former Nauru Building.
Boyer pointed out, though, that the JKPL event starts earlier, around 3:30pm, and is a smaller event compared to Trunk or Treat. She added that Rotary has no problem combining both Halloween events if the state library agrees.
Aside from a possible change of venue, this year also marks the passing of Trunk or Treat organizing duties from the American Memorial Park to the Rotary Club—a move that was not precipitated by the federal government shutdown.
Chief ranger Jason Beatty earlier told Saipan Tribune that the local Rotary Club is better suited to organizing Trunk of Treat than the AMP.
Unlike previous years, Boyer said the 2013 Trunk of Treat event would also have a later starting time so that candies, especially chocolates, won’t melt under the heat of the sun.
Boyer continues to ask businesses and government agencies to help the Rotary in organizing the event. This year’s theme would be local legends and Boyer is urging the community to dress up and make their costumes with that in mind.
Last year, some 2,500 Halloween revelers put on colorful and elaborate costumes during the 2012 Trunk or Treat at the American Memorial Park.