Every year since 1999, hundreds of trick-or-treaters have swarmed the Grand Boulevard and Eight Corners business districts in late October for the annual Monsters on Mainstreet event sponsored by the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce and the Brookfield Historical Society.
But not this year.
On Sept. 14, Brookfield Village President Kit Ketchmark – who is also the director of the historical society – announced that Monsters on Mainstreet was being scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With kids and their parents packing the business districts and then congregating at the Grossdale Station for a pumpkin giveaway and costume contest, it’s just not safe to hold the event, Ketchmark said.
“Typically we estimate the crowd at the station at over 1,000,” Ketchmark said, adding that the 600 pumpkins go quickly and store owners have reported as many as 900 visitors during the trick-or-treating portion of Monsters on Mainstreet.
“[State] government guidelines just wouldn’t allow this to happen,” Ketchmark said. “We held out for as long as we could, but I don’t see things changing in the near future.”
The loss of Monsters on Mainstreet this year was doubly disappointing after heavy rains kept crowds down and washed out the costume contest portion of Monsters on Mainstreet last year.
But while the event may be on hiatus until it is once again safe for people to congregate, Ketchmark said village staff are working to put together guidelines for neighborhood trick-or-treating on Halloween itself.
He said that those residents welcoming kids to their front doors and porches may be able to download a sign they can display in their windows, indicating they’re participating.
Elected officials and village administrators will discuss options to allow safe neighborhood trick-or-treating at the village board’s committee of the whole meeting, which will take place immediately following the regular business meeting on Monday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
“We certainly need to look out for the health and safety of everyone, but still allow something fun to happen,” Ketchmark said. “It is what it is right now. We just have to see how we can work to make it happen. For the kids, it’s a huge event for them each year.“