Gilmer Police Chief James Grunden and Assistant Chief T.J. Harris announced Tuesday that this year’s “Treats,” the 13th annual celebration, will be the last one for the popular annual event.
The Gilmer Police Department was the creator and sponsor of the event since its inception.
Each year, hundreds if not thousands of children and their parents, some from out-of-the-county places such as Harleton and Longview, cme to the “safe alternative to Halloween,” held on Gilmer’s courthouse square.
Chief Grunden said that while interest by the public has increased every year, participation by those with booths giving away treats has been declining in recent years.
“The first year, we had 60 or 70 booths,” he said. “This year, there were about 20.”
Lines of Trick or Treaters were long at those that did exhibit, with lots of candy and other goodies given out.
Harris said they feel the declining economy was a factor, with the cost of candy mounting up for those who did take part.
“We had hoped for an upturn this year, with about 40 booths lined up. But only about 20 showed,” he said.
Another factor is that “Treats on the Square,” linked as it is to Halloween, comes shortly after the Yamboree every year. This year, it was the weekend after the Yamboree.
“We are exhausted from working the Yamboree, and it is really hard to pull off something of this magnitude when we are still recuperating from that,” the chief said.
He and Harris profusely thanked those who had helped and supported the event in any way and at any time during the past 13 years.
And they have the thanks and gratitude of the children and parents were ably to safely enjoy the event.