For the past four years, Trunk or Treat, an event hosted by Delta State’s Athletic Department, has provided a fun and safe Halloween environment for the children of the Cleveland community.
This year’s event is on the same night as a number of community activities that will celebrate the inauguration of Delta State University’s eighth president, William N. LaForge.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Statesmen Park, children and their families are invited to come trick-or-treating at the university’s football stadium, where athletic teams will set up booths with fun games and lots of candy.
Each of the 14 Delta State teams will coordinate booths with themed activities. Children of all ages are invited to show up in costume and participate in the fun.
Michael Vinson, a graduate assistant for student athletic services said, “We’re trying to set up a way for kids to come out and interact with our athletes, get to know Delta State and enjoy a fun, safe Halloween.”
Following Trunk-or-Treat, the entire community is invited to a ceremonial cookout at the park in honor of LaForge. The cookout, hosted by the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, will provide an opportunity for everyone to meet and interact with the president and first lady.
Event organizers are expecting a large turnout considering all the excitement in the air. The weekend also marks a big one for the green and white, as the Statesmen football team prepares for its 2013 Homecoming against Valdosta State at Parker Field on Saturday night.
“I’m looking forward to having the community come out and show support for the university and for the new president,” said chamber Executive Director Judson Thigpen.
Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell, a former classmate of LaForge at Delta State, also plans to join the city in welcoming the president.
“We are very excited to have Bill LaForge back in Cleveland and this is just a small way for us to show our support and excitement,” said Nowell.
Another big draw at the cookout will be musical entertainment provided by Delta State’s own DMI All Stars band and a Beatles tribute band called 1964: The Tribute. LaForge, a lifelong musician, has always been a big fan of the Beatles.
The event comes to a festive end with a fireworks show at 9 p.m., concluding a weeklong schedule of pre-inaugural activities. The Investiture Ceremony for LaForge beings at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 1 in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.
For a complete schedule of festivities, visit the inauguration website at http://inauguration.deltastate.edu.
All inauguration events are funded by private support provided to the Delta State University Foundation. No university funds are being used during the week of activities.