ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Officer Michelle Schwartz gives away free books and treats at the Belvidere Police booth during the Downtown Trick or Treat event.

Last year this was a phenomenal event and nearly 3,000 people converged in a few blocks of downtown Belvidere.  This year, it was again free to participate in this event and participants could set up a tent and table or work from the trunk of their vehicle if they didn’t have a downtown location. State Street was blocked off from First St. just past Logan St. to Locust St. by the Boone County Museum of History.

Businesses along that stretch of the street and vehicles, tents, and tables holding treats and information lined both sides of the street from businesses and organizations around town.

Thousands of people with and without costumes showed up at the event, to the great delight of every business and organization involved.

“It’s a great event,” said Danny Anderson of the Rusty Drum BBQ food truck. “Last year was so well attended and this year as well. It’s wonderful.”

“It’s great to see the community come out,” said Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody. The BPD had turned the back of their Humvee into a prison cell complete with prisoner. Kids were also getting behind the wheel of the Humvee and Officer Michelle Schwartz was handing out candy and free books to an ever-increasing line of kids. “They are celebrating the Halloween season in a manner that is safe and where everyone can enjoy the event together.”

Other food trucks on hand were Mario’s Taco Express, Big John’s Dogs and More and Fizz and Sizz. Byron’s Bank, First National Bank, Nico’s Landscaping, CASA, McDonald’s, Boone Cunty Realtors, the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, Rockford University, ReMax, Sustainable Staffing, Dairy Farmers of America, Belvidere Park District, Americold, and Weichert Realtors were on hand with treats and or costumes. Karen Manley-Kahler of Hamblock Ford Lincoln said, “We are so happy to be a part of the downtown festivities. The Chamber if so thoughtful to allow us to be a part of this event even though we are not located downtown.”

Mr. Goodwater, Gallano Trucking, Busch Farms Ltd., Belvidere High School, Harris Bank, Humana, County Financial, Northwoods/Maple Crest, First United Methodist Church, Allen’s Towing, 4-H, Boone County Drug Prevention Coalition, Boone County Health Dept. YWCA, First Baptist Church, My Three Pups Pet Food Pantry, Empower Boone, Habitat for Humanity, and Early Head Start came to join the festivities.

“We’re happy to be here to support the community,” said Jeannine Hadley of Belvidere’s Educational District #100. “Keeping the kids safe and having fun seeing them celebrate out here.”

Lois and Dennis Ward of the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce said, “We’re having a great time. This is a blast.”

For the Ida Public Library’s Bookmobile (renamed the Boo Mobile for the season) over 2000 people passed through its doors alone. They had a coffin photo opportunity set up outside their door for anyone who was interested (including the mayor).

Trunk or Treat on State Street was held on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and was only the first Halloween event of the season. The IOU Club’s annual Halloween Parade was held the evening of Sunday, Oct. 30. Anderson’s Funeral Home held a Trunk or Treat event on Halloween. Churches and organizations also held Trunk or Treat events over the days leading up to Oct. 31 and Trick or Treat times for each of the Boone County communities were published in the paper for the kids to top off their treat gathering for the season.

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