Trick or treat!

The Chatfield Commercial Club and local businesses are working together to present something special for the community and local children for Halloween.

The annual Commercial Club Halloween Main Street trick-or-treating event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 31, for the area goblins and princesses, warriors and witches. The children can go from business to business collecting candy for their Halloween enjoyment.

"It's fun to see all the kids in costumes and some parents, too," said Kris Bradt, a member of the Commercial Club. "There is always so much excitement on Halloween!"

Invitations for students in preschool and elementary, as well as those who attend St. Paul Lutheran School, have been given to teachers to hand out so that families know where to find open doors.

Bradt elaborated, "The trick-or-treating starts at the downtown businesses after school - from 3 to 5 p.m. The elementary students parade in front of the school starting at 2:15, and at that point they have already received the bag of goodies that the Commercial Club has provided for each preschool, elementary and St. Paul Lutheran student. The community is welcome to come up to the elementary and see the students and staff in their costumes."

While there's still candy to be found at the downtown businesses' doors, the bags that the club distributes at the schools contain items that children might enjoy long after Halloween.

"The Commercial Club, in the past few years, has gone to more useful items in their Halloween bags to keep our kids safe while out trick-or-treating, instead of the usual candy they used to provide," Bradt said. "The bags are reflective and some years there have been flashlights they can carry, always keeping in mind the safety of our kids."

Commercial Club member LuAnn Hare said that the club has been sponsoring downtown trick-or-treating for at least a quarter century.

"I do not know the exact years, but I have been involved for 25-plus years with Commercial Club, and they were doing this when I started. It, of course, took place at the elementary school downtown, and they would walk around the city park," she recalled. "This gave even more community members the opportunity to see the kids in their costumes. When they built the new elementary, the Commercial Club decided to take it another step to not only provide the kids with a treat but to also give them another safe opportunity to receive candy. Also, part of their thoughts was to get the families to see what we have to offer in our stores in hopes that they would shop locally."

Bradt observed that members of the community have lent their assistance to make trick-or-treating a safer adventure for Chatfield's little ones, and that local businesses will welcome children, rain or shine.

"This year, we are adding an additional safety feature. Chatfield United Methodist's youth service group will be volunteering as crossing guards on the corners of Main Street," Bradt explained. "With Highway 52 being so busy with traffic and the children being so excited, we are hoping that this will add a little extra reminder to cross the highway with the crossing guards. We are also putting up a couple of signs to inform vehicles of this event."

For more information on this year's trick-or-treating, contact Kris Bradt at Root River State Bank at (507) 867-4120 or Pam Bluhm at the Chatfield News office at (507) 867-3870.

During the course of the year, the Commercial Club also provides other opportunities for local children including the Easter egg hunt and cookies and milk with Santa. The Commercial Club sponsors events for all ages in the community throughout the year.