Before the two-hour Trick-or-Treat on 23rd Street had ended, Alberta Heltsley of Andy’s Donut said her shop had already passed out 700 donuts.
That provides a sense of the growing popularity of the 3rd annual event that aims to bring more families and foot traffic to the popular merchants corridor, which struggles with crime and blight.
Hundreds of families trick-or-treated along 23rd Street from McBryde to Barrett avenues from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., visiting a variety of candy-toting businesses along the way, including local beauty salons, restaurants, cleaners, offices and more.
Families could also stop for entertainment, activities and booths at sites such as the NIAD Art Center and the Veterans Memorial Hall parking lot, where the Richmond Police Department played games and posed for photos, and where Chevron Richmond, one of the event’s main sponsors, passed out treats and small toys and held a skull-coloring activity. That same parking lot also featured a corner filled with musical instruments that kids could pick up and play.
Several blocks away, another parking lot was the site of a performance by the Richmond High marching band, where Richmond firefighters parked one of their trucks and handed out candy, and where the Dia de Los Muertos Community Altar came to life with assistance from the Richmond Museum of History.
The event also featured slime-making by Contra Costa College, face-painting and more.
Trick or Treat on 23rd Street is one of many efforts by the nonprofit Urban Transformation to spur economic activity along the corridor. The aim is to increase positive foot traffic on 23rd Street.
The event also brings the first large community-wide Halloween festival to West Contra Costa County. In the past, many parents traveled to Alameda County for such events.