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Taylorsville Journal

Taylorsville Lutheran Church and School hosts successful ‘Trunk or Treat’ night, drawing thousands

Dec 01, 2017 08:00AM ● By Carl Fauver

Pirates, princesses and even a skunk on wheels made the rounds on Taylorsville Trunk or Treat night. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

The people in charge couldn’t really agree how many parents and kids turned out — somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000.

They can’t even agree on whether this was the 10th annual Taylorsville Trunk or Treat event or the eighth, as one event official confessed.

But everyone associated with the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and School does agree, this pre-Halloween event is getting bigger and better every year, and is their most effective annual community outreach activity.

“Trunk or treat isn’t any kind of a fundraiser,” said the church’s school Vice Principal Jeff Sell. “This is simply one way we try to give back to our neighbors and provide the kids with a fun and safe activity.”

On the cool but clear final Friday night of October, witches, goblins and even a seven-foot dinosaur began lining up more than a half hour before the Trunk or Treat event began in the church parking lot, at 1441 Tamarack Road (about 4650 South).

Nearby streets were filled with parked cars in every direction. The cost of admission was a canned food item for the Taylorsville Food Pantry. And the first person people met after entering the parking lot came all the way from Vernal. 

“The church hired us to take souvenir pictures of each group,” said Russell Brinkerhoff, owner of The Selfie Stand. Much like a Disneyland ride, he and his wife Breanne posed costumed visitors in front of a “green screen” and gave each group a keepsake photo.

“I didn’t mind driving all the way out from Vernal,” Russell said. “I’m a bow hunter, and that’s what I’ll be doing out this way tomorrow.”

Also mingling in the crowd was Paula Rigby, who’s been a member of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church since the moment it was created.

“My parents started the church, in our Murray basement, in 1969,” Rigby said. “They soon began to rent church space in South Salt Lake, before moving to this location in 1976.”

The adjacent Lutheran school came along a few years later and now has about 90 students from preschool through eighth grade.

“A lot of our students go from here to Lutheran high schools in several different states,” Rigby said. “There’s not a Lutheran high school here in Utah. My parents thought about establishing one but decided to stick with what they had.” 

Becka Decker and her niece, Megan Schuurman, were also among those wearing costumes and handing out treats from the back of their car.

“I’ve been a member of the church 10 years, and this is one of the most rewarding things we do,” Decker said. “It is such a joy and so much fun to see the little kids dressed up in costumes. This is a great, safe alternative to door-to-door trick or treating.”

Unified Police Taylorsville Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant agrees.

“This is a great annual event that draws lots of people from many different faiths and cultures,” Wyant said. “They really do a nice job here. It’s a big crowd, but everyone is safe.”

Unified Police had three vehicles at Trunk or Treat night, while the Unified Fire Authority also provided a ladder truck.

About midway through the candy gauntlet, several fire pits awaited parents and kids, along with the graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate necessary to concoct smores.  

As they returned to the candy trail, the lost stop of the night came before a spooky masked man, in front of a candy bucket with a sign reading “Mayor Johnson’s Halloween Treats.”

“This is such a fun night, because it’s all about the kids,”  Johnson said. “The church does a great job with this every year. I’ve been coming ever since I was elected mayor. Wouldn’t miss it.”

Most kids at the eighth or 10th annual Taylorsville Trunk or Treat event didn’t seem to notice they were taking treats from the mayor. But they did all clearly see, that was the last stop on the candy trail — until next October. 

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