The University of Richmond will host its 13th annual Trick or Treat Street Halloween fair for children on the Westhampton Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Inter-Fraternity Council vice presidents of TOTS, Bryan Zielinski and Ariana Scotti, said that the fair was sponsored by the university's Greek system, along with various campus groups.

It will offer a safe, fun and festive atmosphere for children to spend an afternoon with their families while raising money for a local philanthropy, they said.

This year, TOTS organizers will collect supplies for The Central Food Bank of Virginia, an organization that, according to its website, provides as many as 4,000 meals each day for families and children in the central Virginia area struggling to afford food.

Both Zielinski and Scotti said they would not be charging admission for the event this year. Instead, all of the contributions to the Food Bank will be donations of actual canned food, Zielinski said.

"This year is very big for us," Zielinski said. "We are making a big push to turn Trick or Treat Street into a campus-wide event. It was initially started by the Greek system in 1999, but now it has become much more than just Greek life."

Scotti said, "We're really pushing for more student organizations to be involved, and there are already over 30 organizations participating."

The fair did not take place last year because it conflicted with a home football game, Zielinski said. "They decided to push the event back and change it to a fall festival-type event where they had a canned food drive," he said. The event was called UR Thankful.

Scotti and Zielinski are also excited about a partnership between TOTS and Lite 98, a local radio station.

"It's definitely going to be a lot larger of an event than it has been in the past," Scotti said. "We just want everyone to come out, get involved and have a good time."

Some of the new activities include Lite 98's Halloween costume contest for children and pets, a hay maze, several moonbounces, face painting, a s'mores station, ghost stories, a fortune teller and other carnival games.

"Essentially it's the same event, but on a bigger scale," Scotti said. "Also, by having it on the Westhampton Green, we are moving away from it being a strictly Greek event and encouraging participation from all organizations on campus."

Zielinski said that they had felt the lodges had been very fragmented, whereas on the Westhampton Green each organization could participate in the same vicinity.

"We are very excited about this year, and I think that it will be a great weekend for the whole school with the Student Center grand opening on Friday and Trick or Treat Street on Saturday," Zielinski said. "It will be a great weekend to be a Spider."

contact reporter Rachel Oplinter at rachel.oplinter@richmond.edu