The first 500 kids showing up to S.E. Gross School in Brookfield for the Monsters on Mainstreet event on Oct. 30 will get taffy apples and pumpkins and can compete in a costume contest. | FILE

After heavy rains in 2019 washed out the signature costume contest and a pandemic in 2020 canceled it completely, Monsters on Mainstreet – Brookfield’s signature Halloween event, sponsored by the Brookfield Historical Society and Chamber of Commerce – returns for a full afternoon of fun on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Trick-or-treating in the downtown and Eight Corners business districts will run from noon to 3 p.m. Participating businesses will have pumpkin-shaped Monsters on Mainstreet signs displayed in their windows.

Beginning at 2:30 p.m., families can head to S.E. Gross Middle School, 3524 Maple Ave., where taffy apples and pumpkins will be handed out to the first 500 child trick-or-treaters. The costume contest – open to all ages – will start at 3 p.m. in the west end of the playground, with prizes given out for top costumes in several categories.

Event organizers changed the giveaway/costume contest location this year – it’s traditionally held at the Grossdale Station on Brookfield Avenue – due to the ongoing construction in and around Brookfield Avenue bridge over Salt Creek.

It’s the 22nd year Monsters on Mainstreet has been held and after a washout in 2019 and cancellation in 2020, organizers are hoping for something of a return to normal.

“Right now the weather is looking OK,” said Kit Ketchmark, director of the Brookfield Historical Society. “Hopefully it’ll work out.”

Trick-or-treating times, protocols

Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside have all set official trick-or-treating hours on Sunday, Oct. 31 for 3 to 7 p.m. All three village also are suggesting ways to let trick-or-treaters know – without having to come to the door – whether or not a household is passing out treats.

In Brookfield, you can download and print out a “Trick-or-treaters welcome here!” sign that you can place in your front window by visiting

North Riverside invites those passing out treats and those declining to do so to visit the village’s website at to download and print out a green (yes) or red (no) sign that can be placed in the front window of your home.

Riverside officials are asking those who are welcoming trick-or-treaters to leave their front porch lights on. Those who are not giving out treats are asked to keep their porch lights off. 

To make it crystal clear, however, Riverside also has created signs indicating who is (with a green check mark) and who is not (with a red “X”) passing out treats. Links to the signs, which can be downloaded and printed, can be found at

In anticipation of another traditional year of door-to-door trick-or-treating and Halloween parties, the Illinois Department of Public Health has issued guidelines similar to those published a year ago to limit the spread of COVID-19.

First and foremost, those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should get inoculated. Those already vaccinated who are also eligible to receive a booster shot should get one.

The IDPH also urges everyone to wear masks indoors and try to maintain physical distance or avoid crowded settings. They reiterated that costume masks are not a substitute for a well-fitting mask that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Those households passing out treats indoors are asked to open doors and windows as much as possible. Those who are able to are asked to consider setting up a table outdoors or provide an outdoor area where individually wrapped treats can be set out.

Outdoor parties are also preferable to indoor parties, according to the IDPH, with smaller gatherings reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.