A happy, haunted, and even healthy Halloween celebration will be presented at the Halloween Trunk or Treat, set to take place from 6–8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Florida Department of Health in Hernando County, 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. This event is free of charge and open to the community.
This Halloween gala will feature more than 50 decorated trunks brimming with candy, and that’s just the beginning. “Outside, we’ll have decorated trunks filled with candy,” said Dorine Eckert, nursing program specialist at the Hernando County Health Department. “Once the kids get their candy, they can go inside to get more giveaways that are greatly beneficial to them. Balls to play with, light-up items that will help them be seen if they go trick or treating, and more.”
“The kids will still get their sweets,” she said. “And they’ll get things that can help them.”
Even adults will find much to like about this special trunk-or-treat event, which will also include the involvement of health department officials as well as community partners that include nursing homes, medical facilities, businesses, nonprofit agencies, counties, and more.
“We’ll have giveaways for adults that include blood pressure machines and cups, and porta pens for moms with babies to help with safe sleep practices for little ones,” said Eckert. “We’ll even offer a short training session for those who wish to take a portapen.”
Adults will also benefit from the volunteer fire department’s CPR training session and the abundance of free literature and information about county health services available at decorated tables.
“We want people here to know that regardless of what they need in terms of healthcare, the health department can help them,” said Eckert.
This marks the first health department trunk-or-treat event, which is intended as a safe, family-friendly celebration that also offers valuable information about various health issues. Originally planned as a seasonal fall festival, organizers felt that a similarly timed Halloween celebration would prove more fun and popular, especially among the younger set.
Still and all, fun remains the main focus of this light-hearted Trunk or Treat event.
“We’ll have live music, games and activities, face painting, a Hula Hoop activity, and lots of photo ops with Halloween backdrops,” said Eckert.
“HITS 106 will host a live remote. Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes and will meet costumed characters to take pictures with at the Trunk or Treat.”
In addition, refreshments will not be in short supply at the Trunk or Treat. Free hot dogs and water will be offered at this event, with additional food options on sale via food trucks based onsite.
And then, of course, there’s the Not-So-Scary Haunted Health Department. “We wanted to offer a not-so-scary haunted house experience for kids,” said Eckert. “The haunted house will be presented inside the building and will be more fun than frightening.”
Indeed, aside from candy, costumes and health aids, this most unique trunk-or-treat is all about the family. “We want families and the community to know that we’re there for them,” said Eckert.