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Hollister Recreation to host “Treat Streets” downtown

Event features contests, music and candy.

Little ghosts, monsters and superheroes will be able to walk to over 40 candy stops at various downtown businesses Oct. 31 during Hollister Recreation Department’s first, two-hour Trick or Treat Street.

“I think it’s going to be an amazing event,” Hollister Recreation special events coordinator Jennifer Rodriguez said. “I think it’s going to blow everybody’s socks off and finally they’re going to be like ‘Wow! Why haven’t we  been doing this for the last 10 years?’”

Game activities and contests will take place in the Veterans Memorial Building Plaza led by over 30 volunteers from local organizations like Kiwanis Club and San Benito High School’s Key Club.

The first 300 children to register will receive an official Treat Street bag filled with goodies from local businesses like homemade first aid kits from Hazel Hawkins Hospital, a dental kit from VFW and a Treat Streets map.

Besides candy, other treats include music with DJ Sergio and a costume contest in the Veterans Building Plaza.

There are three age categories for the costume contest: 3 and under, 4 to 7 and 8 to 14. Additionally, there is a family group category. Contestants that place in the top three spots will receive prizes donated by local businesses, including gift cards and gift baskets.

The $3 registration fee can be paid online or in person at the event.

Hollister Recreation will also disguise part of the Vets Building into a haunted house for those seeking a thrill.

Attendees can also participate in the cake walk. It’s a game similar to musical chairs, but participants stand on a numbered circle when the music stops. Then, a number will be drawn to decide the winner of a giant cupcake from Lighthouse 55, Rodriguez said.

Hula Dance instructor Jenny Ray is organizing a flash mob to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Residents, some firefighters and even local law enforcement have been attending weekly rehearsals since September.

Rodriguez said she first attended a Trick or Treat Street event while attending college in Chico and later took her children to a similar event in Morgan Hill. She said she wanted to bring that community vibe to Hollister.

Residents are not the only ones Hollister Recreation is trying encourage to get into the Halloween spirit. Participating businesses will compete for the Treat Streets trophy that designates them as the best-decorated. Two secret judges will walk downtown during the event to select the winner.

“This is going to bring kids and families back out to say hi to your neighbor and say hi to the businesses downtown, so I’m hoping this is going to be successful because everywhere else that does it, it’s the main event,” Rodriguez said.

The event has been years in the making, she added. Among the obstacles were acquiring sponsors, getting downtown businesses onboard and getting approval from the city.

Supporting the event required a lot from the businesses, Rodriguez said, including having a booth during the event, handing out candy and decorating their storefront. It was also difficult getting the city to approve the closure of San Benito Street from 1 p.m to 7 p.m., she said, in order to have enough time to set up before the event and clean up afterward.

Treat Streets will take place Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Hollister. San Benito Street will be closed from Fourth Street to South Street.

“It’s time for Hollister to have this event, where we have an opportunity to create family memories and children can trick-or-treat safely,” Rodriguez said.



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Noe Magaña (Noe Magaña)

Noe Magaña is a freelance writer for BenitoLink. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School graduate with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.

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