Families in Sahuarita can expect to have some safe and spooky fun this Halloween, though it will look a little different than it has in the past. 

Parks and Recreation Director Nanette Smejkal confirmed the Town of Sahuarita is planning a drive-through trunk-or-treat event Oct. 24, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’re still working out the details,” she said. “It’s new for us to do it this way.”

Usually, trunk or treat events involve volunteers decorating  vehicles and trunks so children can walk to each to pick up candy from costumed car-owners. To keep things safer, the town is altering that model.

“We’re planning on having participants stay in their vehicles and will have a route for them to drive where they’ll go past each decorated trunk and see costumes and different themes,” she said. “Candy will be given out at the end of the drive-through to make sure everything’s sanitary and socially distant.”

Smejkal said the event will take place at the town's municipal complex and their neighbor; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will also let them use the parking lot.

Along with the decorated vehicle trunks, the town plans to have static displays and decorations on the route.

The town will partner with several local organizations to make the event happen, including the Rancho Sahuarita Homeowners Association and Common Ground Church of Sahuarita, which launched the event in 2011. 

They are still working out the details of recruiting people to decorate their trunks for the event, but hope to release information to the public about how they can participate soon.

“We hope participants driving through decorate too and are in costumes inside their vehicles and get into the spirit of it all,” Smejkal said.

AmberRose Altamirano is a Rancho Sahuarita resident and mother of four. She said she doesn’t usually attend the town’s Halloween events but hopes there are plenty of options for kids this year.

“My hopes for Halloween are that there will be some type of fun going on,” she said. “I mean most kids have masks on already with their costume so I’m hoping for tricking-or-treating to happen.”

Altamirano said she thinks trick or treating can be done safely with minimal contact when handing out candy.

Altamirano had the idea to start doing some Halloween decorating early to try and bring a little cheer to kids in the neighborhood. She and a couple neighbors have already started.

“I’ll tell you it brought joy to the kids’ eyes and to some of the kids who don’t live in town, like my nieces were over and we’re happy to see the decorations out,” she said. “I feel like there’s so many kids who are sad about their birthdays and teenagers who had plans to have big birthday parties had to cancel and we need something to cheer them up.”

Another local parent, Marianne Scott, said her biggest hope for Halloween and other holidays on the way is for people to remember this virus is here and communities can come up with safe and innovative ways to keep their ties to each other strong. 

“What will we do as a community to still celebrate and let kids know there is hope in the world,” she said. “We can be smart, creative and resilient as a community and if we go that route I believe we will heal as a nation. It’s more than Halloween, it’s this deeper idea of letting fear drive decisions rather than hope and ingenuity and creativity working together.”

Jamie Verwys | 520-547-9728 


Reporter Jamie Verwys grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from the high school in 2006. She lives in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2018.