Dodge City Community College
Saturday, Oct. 31, marks 20 years of Trick-or-Treat in the Halls at Dodge City Community College (DC3). However, because of COVID-19 concerns this year, the college has moved the popular event from the residence halls to the south parking lot between the Fine Arts and Cosmetology/Child Development Center (CDC) buildings.
“This year we are planning to ensure the health and safety of our community,” Margarita Morales, DC3 Director of Residence Life, said. “We intend to maintain proper CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines and social distancing throughout the event.”
Because Trick-or-Treat in the Halls will be in the parking lot this year, DC3 students will have slightly different roles than in the past, Morales said. Some will help with crowd control, some will direct traffic, some will assist with social distancing, and some will give out candy to the children.
And instead of having people congregate at Jackson Hall, this year the college is asking people to drive through the main campus entrance and go directly to the parking lot, were they can sign in and let volunteers know how many children they have in their vehicles.
After visitors sign in, they can drive over to a tent that will be stocked with candy, she said. To limit contact and congestion, volunteers will then take the candy to the cars.
“We will pass out pre-packaged candy bags on trays to each car,” she said. “We will have all volunteers wearing masks and gloves, if they will be handling items touched by others.”
On the opposite end of the parking lot, Morales said they will be placing Halloween inflatables, which will allow people to park, to get out and to take pictures.
“As they are taking pictures, we will have markers and staff to assist with proper social distancing,” she said.
More than 1,000 kids attended last year, Morales said. So, if there should be inclement weather this year, the college will need to cancel the event because Residence Life does not have enough indoor space to ensure proper safety and social distancing for a crowd of that size.
“We would love to return the event to the residence halls once we can properly ensure everyone’s safety, as our students greatly enjoy opening their doors to a community that has been very welcoming and supporting of them,” she said.
DC3 Residence Hall Director Brandon Venson said, “We look forward to seeing all our students give back to the community and enjoy a fun evening. Our students like this event because it helps them connect and get a sense of family they are sometimes missing when they move to college.”
The Trick-or-Treat in the Halls event begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, in the south parking lot, and like in years past, all children in Kindergarten to 5th grades are welcome, Morales said. And also like in previous years, admission is one canned food item per child.
“A few years ago we were taking the canned-food items to the Friendship Feast, but since some of the items were mismatched they were unable to use everything,” she said. “As we were looking at places to take the rest of the food, it was proposed that we reach out to the Kansas Soldiers’ Home. We contacted them, and they were overjoyed to receive this donation. We are now on the third year of taking the donated items to the Soldiers’ Home and feel very fortunate to be able to give back to a group that has given so much to us.”
DC3 Residence Life Office Manager Tracy Shaw said, “The reason I love participating in the annual trick-or-treat event at DC3 is to see the excitement of the kids waiting in line to get into Jackson Hall to trick-or-treat and show off their costumes—and then the joy of watching them leave with a bag full of candy and huge smiles on their faces. This event is looked forward to every year by the community, and the donations from the canned-food drive helps our military veterans.”
For more information about DC3’s Trick-or-Treat in the Halls, please contact Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or (620) 227-9304.