A Tehachapi favorite — Trunk or Treat — will be back this year on Sunday, Oct. 31, with a new sponsor and a slightly different location.

The popular event was created by Main Street Tehachapi as a way to draw people downtown and give back to the community. Last year, the pandemic forced cancellation. Then, in February, Main Street Tehachapi was dissolved by its board of directors, leaving the fate of some popular events uncertain. The City of Tehachapi took over the downtown Farmers Market and the Tehachapi Police Foundation has taken on the Halloween event. The foundation and Tehachapi Police Department previously assisted with the event. 

For those unfamiliar with the event, individuals, organizations and businesses participate by decorating vehicles and parking them downtown to hand out treats — usually candy — to costumed youngsters. Candy donations are solicited from the community.

On Monday, Sept. 20, the Tehachapi City Council approved a permit to allow the event to go on this year. According to TPF President Kim Nixon, the location will be slightly different, running along two blocks of F Street downtown, between Robinson and Curry streets, instead of along Green Street. 

With safety in mind, there will be only one entrance for vehicles and participants, Nixon said. Entry will be at the intersection of Robinson and F streets. Registration will only be online and all vehicles must be registered prior to the event, she added. The event will be free and open to the public from 5 to 7 p.m., however, there is a $20 fee for each participating vehicle. The fee can be paid online during registration. The deadline is Oct. 15. Check-ins begin at 3:30 p.m. and all vehicles must be in place no later than 4:30 p.m.

Candy donations in advance of the event will be accepted at the Tehachapi Police Department, City Hall and Bank of the Sierra. No homemade treats are permitted.

New this year, Nixon said, is a “Little Goblin” area designed for children 5 and under and vehicles and adults should be decorated and dressed with little ones in mind. Organizers remind participants that this is a family-friendly event and encourage keeping “gore” to a minimum. A contest for the best-decorated “trunk” is another feature of the event.

Participants may register online at https://form.jotform.com/TPDfoundation/trunkortreat

Police foundation

The TPF was founded in 2016 to raise public awareness and community support for the TPD. It has raised thousands of dollars to purchase equipment and supplies to assist the department. 

Other events supported by the foundation include National Night Out, held in August, and the Christmas Eve toy and clothing distribution. The organization also funds the Rubien Brandon Memorial Scholarship and Jacob Langston Memorial Scholarship for Tehachapi High School graduates. 

Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of the Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email: claudia@claudiaelliott.net.