Downtown Chipley, Florida holds a Tru...

Downtown Chipley, Florida holds a Trunk-or-Treata Event

There are 40 comments on the Washington County News story from Nov 2, 2008, titled Downtown Chipley, Florida holds a Trunk-or-Treata Event. In it, Washington County News reports that:

The Merchants of Historic Chipley celebrated a safe children-friendly Halloween this year with 'Trunk or Treat'. Attended by hundreds of local residents, the event allowed area children to visit the Chipley ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Washington County News.

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parent

Panama City, FL

#1 Nov 2, 2008
I think this Trunk or Treat Event was a BAD idea. I don't know who came up with it, but it was not a well thought out plan. The area was too congested. This was not a fun event for children, but a way for merchants to advertise and politicians to politic. I arrived at 5:30 when it began, and it was 6:30 (the time the event was scheduled to end) when my child reached the first "merchant." This is ridiculous. I understand this new way of doing things was posed as a more safer alternative. But, what I witnessed wasn't any safer, since everyone was crossing hwy 77 to get into the LONG line, as well older children running back and forth from the Fall Festiveal at New Life to the booths and trunks at the train station. I saw only negative impacts from this new way of doing things. The fun has totally been taken out of trick or treating for the children. My suggestion is to go back to the way it was done last year OR parents could take their children door to door as they did years ago. For a safer experience, various businesses, churches, etc could participate. So, rather than going "door to door" to homes, the children could go to the fire dept, court house, churches, banks, etc. Just a suggestion.
parent 2

Plainview, NY

#2 Nov 2, 2008
I heard the same sentiments from others who were there. That it was a nightmare for the children and their parents. I thought the downtown trick or treating worked out great. I guess we always need to try new things but ditch this years idea in the garbage can. What about setting up tables at Walmart parking lot or pals park and having games for the children to enjoy. More room and safer off the streets. Just a thought
Bystander

Panama City, FL

#3 Nov 2, 2008
I was there also, it was less safe than ever.There was not enough light,way to crowded and even the poor band was in the dark.The idea of games,face painting etc.sounds good.The old high school track or vo.tech.parking lot would be good.Just sit up tables and let the kids trick or treat.Get EMS,CITY POLICE AND FIRE DEPT TO MAN PARKING AND THE CROWD.Set an age limit for the(kids).Have a costume contest for the kids not the dogs that barked and growled at each other and bypassers.A town festival.I know the school has one but this should be by the town.
Fed Up In Chipley

Chipley, FL

#4 Nov 2, 2008
parent wrote:
I think this Trunk or Treat Event was a BAD idea. I don't know who came up with it, but it was not a well thought out plan. The area was too congested. This was not a fun event for children, but a way for merchants to advertise and politicians to politic. I arrived at 5:30 when it began, and it was 6:30 (the time the event was scheduled to end) when my child reached the first "merchant." This is ridiculous. I understand this new way of doing things was posed as a more safer alternative. But, what I witnessed wasn't any safer, since everyone was crossing hwy 77 to get into the LONG line, as well older children running back and forth from the Fall Festiveal at New Life to the booths and trunks at the train station. I saw only negative impacts from this new way of doing things. The fun has totally been taken out of trick or treating for the children. My suggestion is to go back to the way it was done last year OR parents could take their children door to door as they did years ago. For a safer experience, various businesses, churches, etc could participate. So, rather than going "door to door" to homes, the children could go to the fire dept, court house, churches, banks, etc. Just a suggestion.
I couldn't have said it better myself - this was a horrible experience (for kids and adults)! Very poorly organized and not well-thought out.
NonCriminal

Destin, FL

#5 Nov 3, 2008
I went this yr. and last yr.

Last yr. was about the same as this yr. long lines, packed side walks. Only hotter as I recall

They should start it sooner, so it still is daylight.

Having the kids stand by Rail Road tracks that have not been shut down was not to bright.
older

United States

#6 Nov 3, 2008
Little children standing in line for over an hour takes the fun out of the night.I'll bet the train engineer had a shock when he saw the line of kids by the tracks.
Southern Gentleman

Havana, FL

#7 Nov 4, 2008
What a disapointment. I hope the Downtown Merchants and/or the Chamber change it back to the way it has been. Why change a good thing? I agree with "Parent", how am I supposed to keep my kids "restrained" for an hour in line? At least when you're strolling up and down Main Street and Railroad Avenues, the kids are actively engaged in Trick or Treating!

Since: Nov 08

Chipley

#8 Nov 4, 2008
What were they thinking? Please change it back next year.
Disenchanted

Buena Park, CA

#9 Nov 5, 2008
Southern Gentleman wrote:
What a disapointment. I hope the Downtown Merchants and/or the Chamber change it back to the way it has been. Why change a good thing? I agree with "Parent", how am I supposed to keep my kids "restrained" for an hour in line? At least when you're strolling up and down Main Street and Railroad Avenues, the kids are actively engaged in Trick or Treating!
The original idea for this event was to block off about a 2 or 3 block area and just let everyone in to the area, like at the fair.
Railroad Ave. to HWY 90 and 77 to Martin Luther King. NO Vehicle traffic or parking allowed. This would have provided a secure area of over two square blocks of open space for all of the participants with them only having to cross an active roadway coming and going to their cars parked in lots on other streets. The New Life Church COULD have set there event up in the parking lot behind the Dollar General Store or on the green near the gazebo and all of the festival sponsors that parked there cars in the festival area should have parked someplace else. This would have provided ample SAFE space for a festival and showcased Chipley’s woefully under used downtown green space.The idea to "funnel" everyone through in a line parallel to the tracks was ludicrous!
Here is what actually happened.
The event was Hijacked by the churches, New Life Fellowship and others, The leadership of the "Merchants" (Greg Baxley, Mike Lee, Donna Gunter) are the ones that organized this fiasco, They made the decision to put all of those kids in danger on the railroad tracks, not the actual merchants in Chipley, very few of them have anything to do with the organization anymore. If you would think about the hundreds of dollars worth of candy that the business people of Chipley gave away,in these tough economic times, with out asking for anything in return, except that you might come to there store and do some business with them, they are to be commended.
Don’t hold the Businesses in Chipley responsible for the disaster created by a few people with no vision.
mom of 5 from chipley

Marianna, FL

#10 Nov 5, 2008
Disenchanted wrote:
<quoted text>
The original idea for this event was to block off about a 2 or 3 block area and just let everyone in to the area, like at the fair.
Railroad Ave. to HWY 90 and 77 to Martin Luther King. NO Vehicle traffic or parking allowed. This would have provided a secure area of over two square blocks of open space for all of the participants with them only having to cross an active roadway coming and going to their cars parked in lots on other streets. The New Life Church COULD have set there event up in the parking lot behind the Dollar General Store or on the green near the gazebo and all of the festival sponsors that parked there cars in the festival area should have parked someplace else. This would have provided ample SAFE space for a festival and showcased Chipley’s woefully under used downtown green space.The idea to "funnel" everyone through in a line parallel to the tracks was ludicrous!
Here is what actually happened.
The event was Hijacked by the churches, New Life Fellowship and others, The leadership of the "Merchants" (Greg Baxley, Mike Lee, Donna Gunter) are the ones that organized this fiasco, They made the decision to put all of those kids in danger on the railroad tracks, not the actual merchants in Chipley, very few of them have anything to do with the organization anymore. If you would think about the hundreds of dollars worth of candy that the business people of Chipley gave away,in these tough economic times, with out asking for anything in return, except that you might come to there store and do some business with them, they are to be commended.
Don’t hold the Businesses in Chipley responsible for the disaster created by a few people with no vision.


I don't usually respond to any comments but I felt the necessity to do so on this occasion. I agree, the trick or treating in Chipley was not the best experience I have had in all my years of bringing my children. However, the idea of blaming a few business people and accusing the churches of "hijacking" the event is absolutely ridiculous. New Life Fellowship has been hosting their FREE Fall Festival for the 20 years I have lived in Chipley and there have never been complaints before---so to place blame there is what is "ludicrous". Furthermore, as far as an age limit----I whole heartedly agree (an age limit is appropriate however there has always been an age limit implied and advertised)---as a person that for 2 hours distributed candy to a seemingly neverending line---I was shocked to be chastised by grown ups for not placing candy in their bags.(I'm talking 60-70 year olds now---- Grandmas!!!) Hopefully organizers got a better idea of what works or doesn't as far as down town Trick or Treating is concerned and a big thanks to the organizers for their work and time-----I certainly didn't see any of you complainers and whiners out there volunteering your time or money for this event. Final word---line too long--go home!!!
Bystander

Panama City, FL

#11 Nov 5, 2008
I was a volunteer at this function,not involved in any planning of it.Everybody involved should get a thank you, but it does need some change.You can't fault the church people for wanting to provide something for the young people in their church or having a chance to reach others.I think that there are other areas and ideas for it to be better next year.There should be an age limit for the trick or treaters,and the pets should be at home.
For the Kids

Germany

#12 Nov 5, 2008
I believe that it is great that a church stood up and did something for our children. I am so tired of of the liberal people telling our children their ideology about gay marriage and other things. The people that gave out candy spent alot of money and should be thanked for their contribution to our community. We should make some changes, but it is still better than how it use to be.
happygirlnchiple y

Defuniak Springs, FL

#13 Nov 7, 2008
I was very disappointed in this years trick or treating. We waited in line for 30 mins and barley moved and with 2 small children 30mins seemed like a life time. We just left the line and went to the church on the corner. Lining everyone up beside the railroad tracks was extremely dangerous.
However I would like to thank the church on the corner that did the little festival. I thought they did a great job of putting it together. Thank You

Since: Nov 08

Lynn Haven, FL

#14 Nov 7, 2008
Firstly, I'd like to address "Disenchanted". You've made mean and unjust statements not in general, but very blatantly using full names. However, I don't see that you signed your name. Los Angeles? Really?

The Churches in the area have their own festivities in October and have been having them, from what I have been told, for many years. It is unfair for anyone to expect that their activities should be encroached on or blamed as having hijacked anything or anyone--silly, silly, silly.

You are correct, Fictitiously in Los Angeles, that Greg Baxley, Mike Lee, and Donna Gunter were major collaborators in the event. Every decision that was made was done so with the purest of heart. If you know these folks, you know this to be true. So you were not happy with every element--understandable. However, there is a nice way to say that. Interestingly, you seem very angry for some reason which seems to extend outside of this whole Halloween event. I am a merchant. I admit that I don't attend many meetings. However, to say that some businesses no longer have anything to do with the association for reasons that stem from opinions of lack of vision or the like is simply not for you to decide. UNLESS you are a merchant or a credible source (you speak as if you have the "inside scoop"), in which case you would reveal yourself and afford the association a rebuttal and the opportunity to work with you on resolving any issues. However, this is not the forum for that.

TO THE PARENTS:

This event is for YOUR CHILDREN. The event should be fun and, without a doubt, safe. I know I spent a lot of money on candy and invested time. Naturally, I am disappointed that it was not enjoyed by all. However, your concerns are undoubtedly valid and must be addressed. PLEASE don't give up on a group of people who truly love Chipley and its residents; especially its children. Your comments is feedback that will be used to enhance the safety and enjoyment of your children at next year's event. I know some merchants were truly injured by some of the comments that were made. It’s not ever about WHAT is said, but about HOW it is said. I’m sure they’ll do whatever is necessary to make it right—better—safer.

Denise, The Den in Chipley

“Nan Thompson!”

Since: Sep 08

Here

#15 Nov 7, 2008
Denise, The Den in Chipley
I didn't take my child downtown this year, so I can't comment on what happened there..

I can however comment on long lines and waits.
I took my daughter and grand daughter to the mall.. Total chaos.

I have taken my children downtown in years past and enjoyed the festival that the church puts on.. I always thought it was a good combination of events.

What I have found is people here don't seem to like change..PERIOD

As with any event or new way of doing something it takes a time or two to work the kinks out of it.. People complained about the trick or treat event every year for one reason or another.

The way I look at it is.....
The merchants DON'T have to do this event at all.. They chose to, and they should be THANKED for that.

Parents that complain about something that is free is ridiculous.

Kudos to all those that took their time and effort to do this for the children...

Since: Nov 08

Lynn Haven, FL

#16 Nov 7, 2008
Dirt Road Rebel wrote:
Denise, The Den in Chipley
I didn't take my child downtown this year, so I can't comment on what happened there..
I can however comment on long lines and waits.
I took my daughter and grand daughter to the mall.. Total chaos.
I have taken my children downtown in years past and enjoyed the festival that the church puts on.. I always thought it was a good combination of events.
What I have found is people here don't seem to like change..PERIOD
As with any event or new way of doing something it takes a time or two to work the kinks out of it.. People complained about the trick or treat event every year for one reason or another.
The way I look at it is.....
The merchants DON'T have to do this event at all.. They chose to, and they should be THANKED for that.
Parents that complain about something that is free is ridiculous.
Kudos to all those that took their time and effort to do this for the children...
Rebel: Thanks for the response. Objective posts are DEFINITELY needed and appreciated. Hope to see you and yours next year.

Denise, The Den
Bystander

Panama City, FL

#17 Nov 8, 2008
Denise you are right. I do think it was done with pure heart and the safety of the children in mind.All involved did not have to be,they wanted to do something for the kids in WC.Good luck with it next year.Maybe some of the parents could drop off their names and numbers to someone if they are interested in helping with it next time.I would love to help more.Thank you!

“Nan Thompson!”

Since: Sep 08

Here

#18 Nov 8, 2008
Bystander wrote:
Maybe some of the parents could drop off their names and numbers to someone if they are interested in helping with it next time.I would love to help more.Thank you!
I surely would be happy to help..
Once at the mall was enough for me....
I staying local next year..in support of the local merchants.

Since: Nov 08

Plainview, NY

#19 Nov 8, 2008
Bystander: You've created some food for thought: perhaps creating advisory/volunteer groups for the event might work. I'll pass the information along. First, some aspects might be considered that we as business might overlook. Besides, help is always needed. So, Bystander and Dirt Road Rebel we'll need your phone numbers. I can pass them on to the President of the association.
Also, stop by the Den if you're ever in Chipley. I'm right next door to the cleaners and across the street from the Washington County News. I'll love to meet you.
Denise
just me

Defuniak Springs, FL

#20 Nov 8, 2008
I took my 6 yr old this year. unless I know for sure things hav changed won't be there next year. the line was too long but what do you when you have your child already there? most of the people givng out candy was politicians, churches and a few businesses from around. not so many politics will be put next year so someone will needto help. please post something somewhere in august or so I would love to help

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