ORANGE, NJ — Orange Township and Mayor Dwayne Warren hosted a Halloween Trunk or Treat event in the parking lot behind City Hall on North Day Street on Monday, Oct. 31, much to the chagrin of at least one person in town, but the gratitude and appreciation of others.
South Ward resident and Orange Historical Preservation Committee member Karen Wells took to the internet and social media in the days leading up to the city’s official Halloween event to bemoan the fact that Orange was scheduled to hold its holiday event for children in the parking lot instead of in Monte Irvin Park or a more child-friendly venue, as neighboring municipalities such as South Orange have done for years.
But the parents who came to City Hall on Monday, Oct. 31, didn’t seem to mind the parking lot. They were just glad the city was hosting an organized event for children in the community.
“I think this is a great gesture on behalf of the mayor to have Trunk or Treat here in the city of Orange, so the kids won’t be out running around, getting hit by cars or people snatching them up,” Belinda Williams, the mother of Jimmy Jones, said.
Jimmy was dressed up as a scary clown for Halloween, even though he said he doesn’t believe all clowns are bad or scary, on Monday, Oct. 31. “They could come here, have fun. They had a bouncy house, hotdogs, water for the kids and I think it was a great idea. This is the mayor’s house, so this is where he should have had it.”
Tiffany Hay-Gideon, who resides in Orange with her husband and children, also said having the Halloween Trunk or Treat in the City Hall parking lot was a good idea.
“We live in Orange and I think it’s a really great gesture because the kids get to run around and not get hurt and everything is safe,” said Hay-Gideon on Monday, Oct. 31. “We’re going to the other stores, too, but then we’re going to go to Hillside and go trick or treating there, too. It’s all about getting as much candy as you can get for the kids.”
Shyelle Smith, 11, Hay-Gideon’s niece, resides in Hillside, where she attends Walter O. Krumbiegel Middle School. She came to the Orange Halloween Trunk or Treat with her cousins, Niera and Nevaeh Hay-Gideon, who are 12 and 7 respectively.
“I was dressed as Caty Nora from ‘Monster High,’” Niera said at the event.
She was standing with Jones, who said he had decided to dress up as a clown for Halloween, despite all the scary clown hype. He added that he was glad his mother had brought him to the Orange Trunk or Treat at City Hall on Monday, Oct. 31.