Gary and Karen Phelps tested and demonstrated how the custom-made candy chute works, prior to Halloween night.

By Marianne Mueller


Gary and Karen Phelps of Rockton wanted to assure that young ones in their neighborhood had a safe and happy Halloween this year. “With COVID-19 we were unsure if we were going to participate in giving out candy to trick or treaters,” Karen said.

The Phelps daughter Molly Butz told them about candy chutes that she had found on Facebook and shared the concept with them.

“At first we weren’t partially enthusiastic about the idea until Gary saw a photo and an article about it in the Chicago Tribune. We then saw that is was a safe and fun way to take part in Halloween traditions this year,” Karen said.

In prior years, the Phelps had to remove their storm window at the top of their door to allow an easier way to give out candy on Halloween. “This is a new twist, “Karen said.

Gary went to work designing a chute made out of a drain pipe. The pipe was attached to the door of the home were a contraption was made out of scrap pieces of wood. Two screws were attached to the piece to secure it to the door.

The pipe was decorated in black crepe paper, and neatly wrapped around the pipe to add a decorative touch. At the end of the chute sat a pumpkin decoration that was screwed into the pipe.

The Phelps added more details to the pumpkin by putting in eyes and teeth. Before welcoming those ready to have lots of Halloween fun, the Phelps made sure taking a test run. Candy was started at the top of the chute by one of the Phelps and slid downward into the pumpkins mouth were trick or treaters retrieved their candy.

Around 25 trick or treaters visited to try out this creation that attracted great attention. “The children really enjoyed the chute, and the parents were all quite complimentary, and I am thankful for that,” Karen shares. “We did have a good time creating the chute. Of course, it was something worthwhile to do in these crazy times. We might do trick or treating this way in the future.”


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