The Waxahachie police and fire departments are joining forces and “spirits” for their second annual “Trunk or Treat” event, and it promises to be a spooky one.

In a drive-through experience, the festivities will include a ‘Haunted Gauntlet’ house, and candy and toy giveaways. The popular DJ Alex will be on hand to play some eerie Halloween classics.

“The event will be in a stay-in-your-vehicle, driving/tour type experience,” the police department said. “This will give each child the opportunity to personally interact with all the first responders from their vehicles and then drive through the Haunted Gauntlet.”

“The Haunted Gauntlet is intended to be a fun and exciting experience for the children along with a small touch of spine-chilling enthusiasm,”the department added. “Its intent is not to scare the children with over the top costumes or gore. This event is intended to be family-friendly and exciting for children of all ages.”

The attraction is an extension of a series of events aimed at building strong relationships between residents and local first responders. It comes on the heels of the National Night Out campaign on Oct. 1 with first responders interacting with residents in the community. That was followed by “A Chat with the Chief” on Oct. 3 at the police station. Police Chief Wade Goolsby allowed residents the opportunity to air their concerns.

“The overall intent of this event - [Trunk or Treat] - is to provide a means for police officers, firefighters, EMS and other first responders to have positive interactions with children of all ages from our community,” the police department explained. “At this day and age, it is more important than ever to build a positive and trusting relationship between first responders, families and children in the community.”

The term "trunk or treat" puts a twist on the more popular "trick or treat" catchphrase. It was reportedly started by church groups to provide a safe environment for children to trick-or-treat out of car trunks in a parking lot instead of going door-to-door in their neighborhoods.

The spooky spectacular takes place at the police department at 630 Farley St., Oct. 29, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Local businesses, churches and civic groups are being asked to partner with the departments to make the event a success. For more information on how you may participate or donate, contact Community Services Officer O.T. Glidewell at 469-309-4419 or oglidewell@waxahachiepd.org.

“Expectations for a large turnout are high, but we can’t do it alone,” organizers stated. “Together, we can forge a strong community relationship among our first responders, families and children in the community.”