In 2010 Hammocks Beach State Park launched an end-of-season event to say “Thank You” to the community for its support of the park. It was intended to provide an opportunity for folks to come together for an afternoon of fellowship, fun, and a celebration of all the good things we share.

Since the ferry season ends on the last Sunday of October it was only logical to make the event a Trunk or Treat Halloween Bash. Local businesses, area public service agencies and individuals were invited to decorate their vehicles and hand out treats in a safe, family-oriented environment. There were also games, costume contests, and a chance for kids of all ages to dress up and have fun! It was a great success and became an annual event. Each year new attractions were added, and attendance increased. As Trunk or Treat grew so did community involvement and support. Trunk or Treat became a tradition everyone looked forward to.

Unfortunately, in 2018 Hurricane Florence and the resulting damage forced cancelation of the event. No one was more disappointed than park personnel who had hoped to provide something special to lift the spirits of the area communities in the aftermath of the devastating storm. However, damage to the park was too vast to allow even a modified version to be held.

Now, after a year of hard work, rebuilding, and anticipation Trunk or Treat is back and better than ever! And it couldn’t be any more welcomed. With so much stress and strife in a world that seems to have turned itself upside down Trunk or Treat offers everyone a chance to check their problems at the park gate and enjoy an afternoon of fun.

Park personnel and volunteers are hard at work preparing special adventures and multiple new ways to make wonderful memories for everyone. This year’s haunted house will feature vampires. Thrills, chills and scares will be around every turn! Enter if you dare … Take a “spirited” hayride along the park’s nature trail but keep an eye out for what might be hiding among the trees. Enjoy some Halloween-themed games and win prizes and candy. Come dressed in your best costume for some trick-or-treating and take part in the costume contests. Prizes are awarded in several age categories. And of course, visit the “Trunkers” who will give treats to all the princesses, monsters, superheroes and other personifications of kids’ creative minds.

The park welcomes and encourages those who might be interested in becoming “Trunkers” for the event. All you need is a desire to have a really good time and lots of treats to hand out. Donations of candy and volunteer services are also greatly appreciated. The park needs haunted house actors, and volunteers to assist with the games, parking and hayride.

The Trunk or Treat Halloween Bash will be at the park on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 2 until 5 p.m. It is fun and free for all ages. The event is planned, organized, and presented by staff and volunteers of Hammocks Beach State Park. Events take place at the park’s Visitor Center, 1572 Hammocks Beach Road in Swansboro.

Its goal is to ensure that all involved leave the park with a smile and a bag full of good will and candy.

To reserve a “Trunker” spot or if you would like to sign up to volunteer call the park office at (910) 326-4881.

For more information about the event, check out the park’s website (, or follow on Facebook (

Mary Ellen Yanich is a Trunk or Treat volunteer and a frequent park visitor.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.