Moonlight Madness set for Thursday

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With Halloween just around the corner, the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce has been busy brewing up this year's version its annual Moonlight Madness trunk or treat event.

This year’s event — scheduled to run from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29 — will once again be held on the square in downtown Perryville, filling the space with kids with kids, costumes, and candy.

“I enjoy this event every year,” said Jackie Wengert, director of the Perryville Chamber. “The only thing I stress about every year is what to dress up as because it always takes me until the last minute to decide.”

As part of the event, 25 local businesses are expected to give out treats to children, but attendees can expect to see some changes in light of the current climate.

Each business’ booth will be spaced out more than past years and the children’s costume contest and the pet contest, along with the pumpkin decorating contest, will not take place this year.

“The businesses that sponsor and take care of each of those events have elected not to host those contests this year because of COVID,” Wengert said. “There will just be the trunk or treating this year.”

Last year, 31 businesses that took part in the event, and more than 800 children passed through the square, making it the most attended event Wengert could recall.

“It was crazy at times,” Wengert said, adding that she is unsure what to expect this time around. “With everything going on, I have no idea what will happen. We’ve also had people tell us that they are ready to get out and do something. We are hoping the kids will be dressed up and have some type of mask.

"It’s outside, so we hope everyone will take the proper precautions and stay safe."

Another obstacle the event will face will be impending inclement weather in the forecast. Wengert said that in all her years hosting the event that they have never had to reschedule.

“A lot of years the businesses put up tents, so that should help,” Wengert said. “Last year it was nasty as well with a lot of drizzle but we still had hundreds of people come out. Just wish we would get good weather one time.”

Even with all the changes to the event, Wengert is hoping everyone will still have a good time.

“I enjoy seeing all the kids’ costumes and things like that,” Wengert said. “It’s a good event for our local businesses to come out and market themselves.”

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