By Sherry Koonce
The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
High winds and torrential rains did little to deter costumed children from having a delightfully frightful time Thursday when car load after car load of pumpkin-toting trick-or-treaters flooded into the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center to fill up on candy.
While other area Halloween events cancelled because of the day’s earlier downpour, Port Arthur’s Trunk R Treat activities went on as scheduled, moved inside just in case the rain did not subside by nightfall.
“The bad weather did not spook Port Arthur,” Floyd Johnson, the city’s city manager, said while surveying a long line of children and their parents that filled the Civic Center, snaked outside along the sidewalk and out into the parking lot.
“I think this shows our committment to community and children. This truly is a community event, and a safe enviroment,” Johnson said.
Ivy Dupuy, 27, of Port Arthur, brought her daughter, 2-year-old Kimber dressed as a furry fox, for the first time to the city’s this year’s Trunk R Treat.
“We were going to a neighborhood in Labelle, but could not because of the rain,” Dupuy said.
Long line or not, staying home was not an option for Larry and Kim Hessling, of Port Arthur. The couple, who recently moved to Southeast Texas from Crowley, La., brought their eight children and grandchidlren — all dressed in their Halloween best from Monster High cheerleader to Zombie Princess.
Kendra Johnson, 27, of Port Arthur said the day’s earlier bad weather did not play a part in her decision to bring her daughter, 7-year-old Brinyah Melonson, who was dressed as a witch.
“I heard it on the radio today. We don’t do the house-to-house anymore. This is the safest thing,” Johnson said.
Among the many Trunk R Treat booths handing out candy was First Convenience Bank, located inside Walmart.
Branch Manager Sheila Elizondo said this was the first year the bank participated.
“We weren’t expecting this many kids, but are glad to see them all here,” she said.
On down the trick-or-treat line Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince was busy passing out bags of candy — 1,300 of which she said she helped bag.
“This is the place to be this Halloween,” Prince said. “Rain or shine, we knew we were going to have something somewhere.”
Last year, more than 1,000 children attended the event, and very likely more came this year, Prince said.