EMILY HOWE ’13
Last Sunday, October 28th, marked Trinity’s twenty-second annual Halloween on Vernon, an event run by the Annual Community Events Staff (ACES). Trinity chaperones, donning light blue T-shirts and the occasional costume, took groups of Hartford children and families to different spots on Vernon Street to participate in fun activities with Trinity students. Almost all of the houses on Vernon St., including Pike, Cleo, I House, North Campus, St. Anthony’s Hall, AD with Ivy Society, Praxis, Umoja, AASA, LVL, the Mill, Psi U with Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Hansen opened up their houses to host activities for the event. Additionally, clubs and organizations set up games, arts and crafts, and activities in Vernon Social Center for the children to do after they completed the trick-or-treating route down Vernon Street. The event would not have been nearly as successful without the participation of Crow, the Italian Club, Vernon Place, JELLO & Banquet, Quest, Best Buddies, Habitat for Humanity, Zeta, Lions Club, Model United Nations, and Relay for Life.
This year upwards of 600 children and their families came to campus for the event. This was a huge increase from last year, when only approximately 250 people attended the event. The long-standing event is a favorite among many Hartford families. People began lining up for the event hours before the 1 o’clock start time. While checking families in at the door, one Trinity student listened to a new mom gush about her love for the event. Holding an infant in an elephant costume, she spoke about how she had attended this event as a young girl and was so excited to bring her own child to Halloween on Vernon this year. Other families echoed her sentiment, saying it is the highlight of their fall.
Last October, Halloween on Vernon was in danger of cancellation due to the unexpected snowstorm the night before the event. Despite the snow and the cold, the event carried on. Many families without power flocked to Vernon Social for the activities and the warm buildings. It was inconceivable to think that this event could be threatened by a weather incident for the second year in a row. However, Hurricane Sandy was well on her way towards Connecticut by last Sunday morning. An hour or two before the event, the student body received an email cancelling two days of classes and encouraging all students to evacuate campus. As a result, ACES lost the support of nearly half of their chaperones, and a few organizations who had initially committed. Regardless of these surprises, the event was a suceess thanks to the students who stuck it out on campus and went above and beyond for the event! ACES is incredibly grateful to those students for all their help.
A couple especially popular and successful activities stood out during the event. La Voz Latina drew in crowds of people with their bouncy castle. Praxis’s haunted house was a favorite for many children seeking a little scare. Psi Upsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma’s candy ruit, face painting, and monster mash was quite a hit, with a constant flow of children waiting outside the house to participate. Senior Psi Upsilon brother Mike Atsalis described Psi Upsilon’s event as a “combined effort amongst the brotherhood” and added with enthusiasm, “Everyone enjoys the kids and families that come through!”
Halloween on Vernon is a great campus-wide event for the community and ACES is so pleased to see it getting bigger and better every year. If you would like to share any ideas to make the event even better, just email Emily & Gracie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look out for opportunities to donate Thanksgiving baskets to ACES for their annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive this November!