Halloween festivities began at Richmond on Sunday with the university’s 16th annual Trick or Treat Street. More than 1,000 people participated in the event that was held on Westhampton Green.

The event used to be run by the Greek organizations, but this was the first year that TOTS was planned by a distinct organization. “The group of students within the Greek Community decided that the program was getting large enough that it needed to have its own organization,” said Arianna Guillard, who was part of the TOTS planning committee this year.

They took donations for FeedMore, the local Richmond food bank, Guillard said. Additionally, the event featured different campus clubs and organizations that hosted games and activities at tables spread across the green.

“Each organization, fraternities, sororities and different clubs can have their own table where they have an activity,” Guillard said. “Face painting, making maracas that children get to take home, a maze, bouncing houses and decorating pumpkins are just a few of them.”

There was plenty of candy for the kids as well.

TOTS used radio advertisements to get the word out to the Richmond community. They also distributed flyers at local elementary schools.

“The number of organizations that participate is growing,” Guillard said. “Each year we get more and more organizations that want to have a table and participate in the event.”

Houlagans’ Rest and BARK, both organizations that rescue dogs, brought some of the dogs up for adoption to the event. Children, students and parents were able to play with the dogs and take them for a walk. Families interested in adopting a dog also had the chance to fill out applications.

Lambda Chi Alpha took part in the Halloween event by building a maze for children. “One way we made it even more fun than just going into the maze is that we actually hid candy inside it,” junior Austin Shepherd said. “We had brothers going in with the kids, parents as well. Everyone was loving it.”

Shepherd also said even though this was their first year participating in TOTS, it won’t be “once and done.”

Alpha Kappa Alpha also had its own table where they had mason jars with glow sticks inside. They had children put water in them to make the water glow in the dark. They could also decorate their jars with glitter, letters and stickers.

Katie Gericke, mother of Madison and Knox, ages 7 and 3 respectively, said this was their third time attending TOTS. “We live across the street and walk over. The kids really enjoy it every year,” she said.

Ivan Belmonte came to the event with his 2-year-old son. “It’s the first time ever that he has had cotton candy. He’s experiencing many things for the first time here,” Belmonte said. He also said this was their first time coming to TOTS, but it would not be the last.

Contact reporter Marta Quero at marta.quero@richmond.edu