Spook Walk goodies from unidentified visitor not so sweet
Religious materials not from participating stations, organizers say
Roughly one week after the Charles City Spook Walk, reports of unwanted handouts were heard. According to Mark Wicks, director of Chamber of Commerce, someone was handing out religious materials condemning trick-or-treaters and those who celebrated Halloween.
“Apparently an individual, or individuals, who were not signed up to participate were handing out booklets to children,” Wicks said. “They did not have permission to be there. That is not acceptable.”
Of the 30 treat stations along the Spook Walk, only two were churches and Wicks is confident neither handed out the hurtful material. Unfortunately, Wicks said, the Chamber was not notified of the disturbing handouts until after the event.
“If we had found out, they would have been escorted out and asked to leave,” Wicks said. “That is not something we allow.”
Although their actions weren’t sanctioned by the Chamber of Commerce, handing out the material was not illegal.
“If they were not asking for money they weren’t breaking any laws,” Charles City Police Chief Hugh Anderson said.
Despite the intent of those attempting to ruin the fun, the annual Spook Walk was a success.
“We had 1,100 kids and about another 500 adults,” Wicks said. “They were backed up around the block.”
He credited favorable weather as part of the reason so many came to the event; the average participation is around 1,300 children and adults.
Wicks was also impressed with the above average participation of the businesses signed up to hand out treats.
“Our theme was ‘family game night come to life,’” he said. “I think the businesses and groups went above and beyond.”
By Amie Johansen firstname.lastname@example.org