Candy and cars: Arkadelphia hosts Halloween drive thru


Kelly Stiles

Main Street of downtown Arkadelphia will be home to a COVID-safe Halloween event hosted by Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance & Area Chamber of Commerce.

COVID-19 has taken away many of the activities people often take for granted. The Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce is determined not to let the pandemic steal Halloween.

“Everyone is just trying to get back to normal,” director of administration and events Ashlee Vaughan said. “I feel like [the kids] still being able to dress up and get some candy will lift everyone up.”

On Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm on Main Street in downtown Arkadelphia, the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance & Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting their first ever Trick-or-Treat Drive Thru Event. To replace the annual trick-or-treat event typically held at the Arkadelphia Recreation Center, this drive thru event will provide a safer way for children to show off their costumes and receive candy.

Representatives from local organizations will line Main Street to pass out candy to children in passing cars. (Kelly Stiles)

“We decided that the drive thru event would be safer for our children,” Vaughan said.

Arkadelphia community members will represent local businesses and organizations by lining the sides of Main Street to give candy and other goodies to children riding in cars. Each participant will be required to wear masks and gloves.

22 local organizations have signed up to participate thus far, including Simply You Boutique downtown and churches Trinity Temple Assembly of God, Third Street Baptist Church, and Park Hill baptist Church. A multitude of organizations from Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University have signed up as well.

The Arkadelphia Police Department traditionally passes out glow sticks to children each Halloween and will be doing so while helping maintain the traffic that evening. Another traditional participant is the Kiwanis Club of Clark County who gives children reading books.

“I’m excited to see the kids’ smiling faces,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan has worked for the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance & Area Chamber of Commerce for eight years. Born and raised in Arkadelphia, the city is dear to Vaughan, and she enjoys being a part of its development, from partnering with local businesses to throwing events to bring Arkadelphia citizens together.

Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce director of administration and events Ashlee Vaughan enjoys giving back to her community by helping bring people together. (Submitted)

“I want to see this community thrive and grow,” Vaughan said.

If your organization would like to participate in the event, please contact Ashlee Vaughan at [email protected] before Oct. 29.