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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Trick-or-Treat the Avenue: A spooky Tucson tradition

Flier advertising Trick-or-Treat the Avenue. The event takes place on Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Casey Anderson.)

Halloween is just around the corner. As people start to prepare by buying candy in bulk as well as creating their costumes, Tucson’s Fourth Avenue gets ready for one of its signature events, Trick-or-Treat the Avenue.

Casey Anderson, chief operating officer of the North Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, went into detail about the kid and pet-friendly event.

“It’s great! It brings a whole different demographic down to the avenue, which I think is cool! It brings children and that livelihood down for the family-friendly event. We started the costume [competition] a couple of years ago and it was a big hit,” Anderson said.

Anderson spoke about how many events on Fourth Avenue were geared toward adults rather than kids. So, wanting to have a more kid-friendly event, Trick-or-Treat the Avenue was born. This will be their third year of hosting the event.

Businesses also participate, but it’s usually hit or miss as the event is on a Sunday. Anderson is hoping for 100% participation this year. The merchants will have specials for that day as well.

“We’re hoping to just continue to grow it. We want it to be all-inclusive, for all demographics, for everyone. It really is a community event! It’s a fun way to be outside and celebrate Halloween and trick-or-treating with local businesses involved,” Anderson said. “It brings them down to Fourth Avenue to check out all our merchants and the kids usually leave with a lot of candy.” 

The event is pet friendly and all Anderson asks is that pets are leashed and are well behaved around dressed up people, as some pets aren’t accustomed to seeing people in wacky costumes.

Businesses often participate in the event, especially the famous Tucson Thrift Shop. Established in 1979, it is the place for not just vintage clothing items but costumes as well! Owner Arlene Leaf went into detail about her experience with Trick-or-Treat the Avenue.

“It’s fun! […] What I love about it is that you just really see the whole community. I mean, there are streams of families with their children. Sometimes the parents are dressed up too, sometimes complementary to the kids, or sometimes just the kids. But you see that it’s an event that they feel comfortable with and enjoy,” Leaf said.

Leaf’s biggest challenge is that the business never had enough candy to hand out to the kids. They ended up handing out tattoos and fake mustaches once they ran out, and this year Leaf is even buying vampire teeth and other trinkets besides candy.

Leaf also spoke about how much she loves watching the community come together to celebrate Halloween, even before Trick-or-Treat the Avenue.

“Community celebrating Halloween has been a dream I’ve held for a long time and I love seeing how it’s manifested […] On Halloween itself or the weekend before, adults come down with their costumes and they do a promenade […]. It’s like Greenwich Village,” Leaf said.

To Leaf, watching the community and families come together has such positive energy. Her favorite costume that she has seen by far was someone dressed as a table with an actual tablecloth and dishes glued down.

Trick-or-Treat the Avenue takes place on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. all along Fourth Avenue. Stay up to date with any changes by following Historic Fourth Avenue on Instagram @4thavetucson.

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