Mobs of costumed trick-or-treaters streamed through Otwell Middle School on Tuesday evening for a night of candy, entertainment and Halloween fun at the first-ever Forsyth County News Trunk or Treat celebration.
Over 2,000 local residents turned out for the brand-new event, totally eclipsing the publication’s expectations for the night, according to FCN Publisher Stephanie Woody.
"We were not expecting that," Woody said on Wednesday. "It went way better than we could even have anticipated, and we were so happy, for one, to be able to put on the event with the support of our sponsors, because we couldn't have done it without their support, and we appreciate all the people coming out to help fund local journalism."
At the event, multiple local residents said that they had a great time walking around with their kids, talking with local businesses and appreciated that the trick-or-treating could happen in a safe, controlled environment.
Mason Shawver, who came out with his three young boys, said that they had just attended a Trunk or Treat event at The Collection in south Forsyth on Sunday, and even though the FCN event was busy they fully enjoyed themselves
"We're having a great time," Shawver said. "With the weather, we figured we'd get a couple in before it started to get too crazy."
While handing out candy to the costumed youngsters, Jennessa Sabella, founder of Bliss Mama Wellness, said that from a vendor’s perspective, the event was a great opportunity to meet with members of the community face to face and get their business’s name out there.
Sabella said that they will absolutely want to be a part of any FCN Trunk or Treat event held in the future.
"It's been great; exactly what we wanted it to be,” she said. “A lot of exposure and just getting to have fun with all the families in the community."
With the event’s success, Woody said the publication plans to host it again, and local residents should expect to see more events hosted by the FCN in the future.
"And we're always looking for ideas, so if there are areas in the community that they feel like aren't being served, reach out to us and let us know, let us see if we can fill that void," Woody said. "We're here for the community, and we enjoy putting on events like this and letting us be a part of the community."
Woody also thanked the sponsors, like Bryan Properties, and organizations like Los Rios Mexican Restaurant and Otwell Middle School, which provided the funding, time and space to make the event happen."We do really appreciate Otwell Middle School and Principal Steve Miller for allowing us to use that space; it would not have been possible without that," she said.