What started as an improvised solution to a pandemic-born problem is set to become a county-wide annual tradition.

Trunk or Treat, the wildly popular Halloween celebration hosted by Carr Hardware and sponsored by a handful of local businesses, is coming back for a third time this year, and Carr president Bart Raser sees no reason to stop there.

“We’re doing it again because it’s been such a huge success,” he said, “We started all this [in 2020] because we thought kids weren’t going to get to go trick or treating. And it became important. When something’s important to our community, as a community business, we do it.”

Now that kids are free to roam their neighborhoods for sweets once more, event organizers have reimagined Trunk or Treat as an extension of the Halloween tradition, instead of a replacement.

“Last year, we were still in that realm of not knowing how trick or treat was going to happen,” said Amy Goddard, Director of Marketing at Carr Hardware. “This year, we know that trick or treat’s going to resume everywhere. Great! What we wanted to do now is take this event and turn it into an annual, extra fun activity that parents can bring their kids to to get an extra bit of candy, to be able to wear their costume an extra time. To do a nice, fun, community event.”

Trunk or Treat 2022 will take place Thursday, October 27, from 5-7p.m., at four of Carr’s Berkshire locations: Great Barrington, Lenox, Pittsfield and North Adams.

In addition to the central drive-through candy giveaway, Carr will pass out a free pumpkin for each car, while supplies last. Each location will also feature its own special guests and live entertainment.

Visitors to Carr’s Pittsfield store can catch a peppy routine from the Pittsfield Bulldog Cheerleaders, or meet local radio personality Margo, of LIVE95.9’s ‘Slater & Margo in the Morning.’ In Lenox, dancers from Dalton Ballet Studio will perform; in North Adams, Chasing Dreams Dance Center will offer festive face painting; and in Great Barrington, the Great Barrington Fire Department will make an appearance with one of those ever-popular big red trucks.

For a full, up-to-date list of participants, check carr hardware.com/trunk-or-treat.

As in previous years, Raser himself will be on hand to distribute treats — in costume, of course. He’s opted to keep his getup a secret for now. “You gotta show up to find out,” he said.

While 2020 COVID restrictions are no longer in effect, safety is still a top concern for the organizers. Raser wants families to enjoy the celebration, worry-free. “We’re going to do everything to make sure that it’s going to be safe, good, clean fun for kids of all ages,” he said.

Carr’s team has support in their mission from the event’s sponsors, The Berkshire Eagle, Animal Inn, Adams Community Bank, The Co-op Bank and Klaus Roofing Systems by J. Smegal. Several sponsors will even be at Carr locations to help out in person.

That spirit of collaboration — local businesses working together for the good of their community — gives Trunk or Treat special significance in Raser’s eyes. In particular, it illustrates the relationship between two deep-rooted Berkshire businesses: Carr Hardware and the Eagle.

“We appreciate our long-standing relationship with the Eagle. It really is a partnership,” he said. “That’s so important for two community businesses, having this partnership, and trying to make an impact throughout the county.”

Whether you’re looking to celebrate local businesses, or just satisfy your sweet tooth, Raser is confident this year’s Trunk or Treat will be as big a hit as ever.

“There’ll be free candy, and free entertainment and a free pumpkin, and all the other good, fun things people have come to expect over the past couple years,” he said. “If you haven’t made it in the past, it’s a good time to try it out.”

What is sponsored content?

The Eagle provides fee-based professional writing, editing, design, web presence and social media services to businesses to help them tell their stories with the broadest reach possible. Let us help you tell your story today. Email kkirchner@berkshireeagle.com