MONTICELLO – Providing a safe and fun Halloween experience during the COVID-19 health emergency is top of mind for the Streets of Monticello Association.

That’s why, from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 31, SOMA will sponsor its first Downtown Trunk or Treat event in Monticello. It’ll be on Illinois and Broadway streets.

The event will follow all current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and state mandates regarding wearing of face covers, which Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb recently extended until Nov. 14 due to spiking numbers of positive COVID-19 results sprouting up statewide.

What is “trunk or treat?”

Individuals and/or groups decorate the trunk of their vehicle for Halloween, load it up on candy and other goodies, park in a designated area – usually a parking or, in this case, in the blocked off portion of Illinois and Broadway streets – with other participating vehicles and allow children, dressed in their best Halloween garb, to “trick or treat” from car to car.

Trunk or treating started a few years ago nationwide as a way for children to safely trick or treat, thus avoiding visiting neighborhoods that are not well known or traveling across multiple neighborhoods.

And the decoration of vehicles can turn into a friendly competition among volunteers to see who has the best theme or decoration.

Here are some guidelines for people who want to participate:

• Registration will be limited to the first 90 vehicles

• All cars must be pre-registered. Deadline to register is midnight Oct. 28.

• All pre-registered cars will be given an orange registration card that will be placed in the bottom left corner of the windshield.

• Car arrival is from 2-2:45 p.m. at the church corner of Illinois and Broadway. Cars will be parked in the order in which they arrive.

• Trunks can be decorated as simple or as elaborate as they vehicle owner chooses. Businesses and organizations that register are encouraged to bring fliers advertising an upcoming promotion or event from their business to pass out.

• Candy must be pre-wrapped and sealed. No homemade treats will be allowed this year due to the COVID-19 health emergency. Participants should be prepared to accommodate about 1,000-plus children.

Registration forms are available at www.thehj.com (attached to the online version of this story) and delivered to WMRS Radio, 132 N. Main St., Monticello, or emailed to soma47960@gmail.com.

For more information, call 574-581-2511 or email soma47960@gmail.com.