Growing up in Del Rio, Michael Diaz never had anything like Del Rio’s annual “Monster Mash.”

Like most American kids, the Del Rio native would put on a costume and go trick-or-treating. There were no DJs playing music, a selection of food vendors or costume contests. Just the simple knock on door and pleading “trick-or-treat” greeting. Diaz said he likes Del Rio’s alternative way to celebrate Halloween.

“To see it (the “Monster Mash”) now as an adult, it’s great,” Diaz said. “It’s nice to see all the kids and adults having fun.”

Diaz said “Monster Mash’s” popularity has increased every year since its beginning. It started with hundreds of people and improved to thousands.

Alexandra Falcon Calderon, Del Rio Downtown Association director, said every year the event gets “bigger and better.”

However, this year it was canceled. The usual host, the Del Rio Downtown Association, nixed it due to the pandemic. On Friday, they did a drive-by trick-or-treat in the parking lot of BBVA bank on 525 S. Main St. instead. Calderon said they had to do something to keep the spirit of Monster Mash alive.

“We had to do something (rather) than nothing,” Calderon said. “It’s a big thing. That’s why we didn’t want to put it on hold.”

The event was successful. Several Del Rio families lined up their cars along Main and Garfield streets to get free candy bags for their costumed children. The association eventually had to cut off the event because it did not have enough candy for everyone.

Organizations Whitehead Memorial Museum and Back to Action Physical Therapy, donated to the event. Diaz, director of Whitehead Memorial, said the museum donated as a way to support the community and to get them out.

“It’s important to make some kind of normalcy,” Diaz said. “This is a safe alternative for the kids to at least come out, get some candy and enjoy the Halloween spirit.”