To reverse the trend of East Palo Alto families taking their children trick-or-treating in neighboring cities such as Palo Alto and Menlo Park, a group of neighbors is organizing a first-of-kind event this Thursday to encourage the community to celebrate the holiday on their streets.
The Halloween event is designed as a social gathering for neighbors to connect with each other. It will feature a costume parade in front of judges Mayor Lisa Gauthier, Vice Mayor Regina Wallace Jones and Ravenswood Superintendent Gina Sudaria. Participants will have a chance to win prizes in various categories, including best kids costume, best adult costume, best family costume and best pet costume.
Following the costume contest, a supervised trick-or-treat walk will go to the neighboring houses.
"It's all about building community and getting to know your neighbors," said East Palo Alto resident Mark Dinan, who has lived in the city for 10 years.
Taking notice of the few trick-or-treaters on neighborhood streets, Dinan garnered interest from community members to put on the event by posting on a group Facebook page for East Palo Alto neighbors.
"Kids don't trick or treat in EPA (East Palo Alto) for a lot of reasons," Dinan said. "We're trying to change perceptions of EPA with this event."
Neighbors behind the gathering have partnered with local organizations to promote the event, including the Ravenswood Youth Soccer Club; Bears Without Borders, a community engagement program through Menlo-Atherton High School's football team; and Taqueria La Cazuela, a local Mexican eatery.
The event is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Joel Davis Park, 1960 Tate St., and its expected to end around 8 p.m.
For more information, visit facebook.com.