Trunk or Treat works despite the rain

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

The Knox County Parks and Recreation Department held its first-ever Trunk or Treat event at John Tarleton Park, and, based on the turnout, we plan to make it an annual event!

“Despite the rain, we felt like the event was a total success with at least 1,000 people coming through, participating and playing games,” said Ariel Houston, who is with the department and helped put the event together. “We also want to give a big shout out to Mayor Glenn Jacobs and his staff for their support and volunteering. We hope this is something that will continue for years to come.”

The Mayor and a number of folks from his office, including Dwight Van de Vate, Jane Jolley and Rhonda Smithson, all spent part of the day at the park, decorating trunks and handing out candy. We touted the free Halloween event as a fun-filled afternoon of treats, games and classic automobiles. Unfortunately, a lot of the hotrods couldn’t make it but we had a bunch of cool vendors that did, including Oscar Mayer, Kona Ice, Buff City Soap and two pet companies.

The event also featured a number of lawn games such as tic-tac-toe, cone ring toss, sack races, pumpkin decorating contests, and a scarecrow toss. Next up is the Fall Festival, slated for Sunday, Nov. 14, at Tommy Schumpert Park. We’ve got that one ready to roll and will send out the formal announcement next week.

In the meantime, our Concord Park crew this week started putting up the lights and decorations for the Holiday Festival of Lights at The Cove. That event kicks off Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. with a ribbon cutting and runs through Sunday, Jan. 2.

The event will include firepits and music and we will staff it – except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Jan. 1. On those days, we will leave the lights on during the usual time of 6-9 p.m., but won’t have folks there working. As always, the event is free but we accept perishable food items and donations, which we turn over to the Love Kitchen. We’ll have more information about the festival toward the end of the month.

Oh, almost forget . . . one more event that we will have more information about next week. Remember when local philanthropist Randy Boyd donated $250,000 to the county and $250,000 to the city to build dog parks? Well, the county will hold the first official groundbreaking at Beverly Park in the coming weeks.

We plan to build five new parks within the next couple of years thanks to a grant program initiative by the Boyd Family Foundation. The proposal – dubbed the Knox Neighborhood Dog Parks Plan – was designed to make Knox County No. 1 in dog parks per capita in the nation. The county is ranked No. 29 currently.

A contest was held last year, and residents chose to build dog parks at Beverly Park, New Harvest Park, the SportsPark, Powell Station Park, and Clayton Park, though specific park locations may be updated if the need arises.

In other parks and recreation news, our folks were mowing and going, including J.D. and his crew who spent time at Clayton Park mowing, trimming and blowing out the fall leaves. Our one-man machine Frank Christian cleaned and prepped the parking lot at Tommy Schumpert Park before repainting the lines out there. He also helped put down new gravel in some areas. Additionally, Frank installed a new sign at Marine Park and several security cameras at secret locations. He also spent time on the Ten Mile Greenway, picking up trash and cleaning out areas where the homeless left behind stuff.

We have construction crews from the Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department also at the Cove right now, placing “E” mix asphalt on the gravel portion of the overlaying and existing parking area near the pond. They plan to have the new asphalt and striping completed by Thanksgiving.

On the recreation side, adult softball is a few weeks behind on playing league games. Youth soccer is ongoing at US Cellular and adult soccer is ongoing at Tommy Schumpert on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Enjoy these photos from Trunk or Treat and work crews across the county:

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *