HOPEWELL, Va. -- The tricks and treats were back in Central Virginia this Halloween, after COVID-19 canceled many October events last year.
In Hopewell, dozens gathered for the first ever "Trunk or Treat" hosted by the Hopewell Police Department and Hopewell Prince George Healthy Families.
"I think it’s just a way for everyone to bridge the gap of our differences and come together as one for the city,"said Michael Redavid, a community engagement officer for Hopewell Police.
Diane Varner, the Executive Director at Healthy Families, said the organization immediately jumped on the opportunity to help the police department.
"We love partnering with them, because they work so hard for the community, and they're great for our families that we serve," Varner said.
The event was complete with dozens of cars full of candy, non-profits informing the community about important health resources, and police officers engaging with the public.
One woman CBS 6 spoke with Sunday named Jessica volunteered to pass out sweet treats with a couple of her friends.
“We’re out here giving back to the community, giving the kids candy for Halloween, and supporting a good cause for the police department," she said.
Jessica said she was thrilled to see how many people came out to have some fun.
"With Covid and everything, it was still a great turnout," Jessica said. "People are not as afraid as they used to be."
Varner also said she was pleased with the turnout and hinted at more community events to come in the near future.
On Richmond's Southside, hundreds of families went to The Life Church for an inaugural "Trunk Fest" event.
Dozens of church members decked out the trunks of their vehicles with different themes, including Christmas in October, Candy Land, and a Fire Engine.
Thomas Johnson, a retired fire captain from Northern Virginia, also used his platform to educate people on fire safety. Halloween marked the last day of Fire Prevention Month.
"Keep all your appliances off," Johnson said. "Teach your children stop, drop, and roll, pay attention to fire drills, make sure to leave your apartment or house if the alarms go off. Get out, call 911, and take care of each other."
Pastor Vernon Gordon said he loved seeing everyone's trunks and costumes.
“People got really into it! Their personality is coming out along with their creativity," he said. “It’s exciting to see the smiles on kids’ faces and the laughter shared with families.”
He said the event represented everything the church stands for, especially after many people missed out on community events during the pandemic.
“Days like today are a reminder after the last two years that we’re still a community and we have family that we can lean on," Gordon said.