‘Pillage the Village’ name is out for trick-or-treating event following complaint from Native American tribe

Trick-or-treaters get prize bags from the La Jolla Real Estate Brokers Association during the 2021 "Pillage the Village."
Trick-or-treaters Mia (in orange) and Aria James receive prize bags from representatives of the La Jolla Real Estate Brokers Association during the 2021 “Pillage the Village” Halloween event.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

In addition, a plan to decorate local utility boxes with directional imagery may have to switch from wrapping to painting.


The La Jolla Village Merchants Association has decided to change the name of its annual Halloween trick-or-treating event after receiving a complaint from a representative of an area Native American tribe.

The LJVMA board voted unanimously Sept. 14 to no longer use the name “Pillage the Village,” the title of the children’s event that has been held since 2009.

“We had a complaint … with the sentiment that the name was negative to Native Americans,” LJVMA President Amber Anderson said. “The founders of the event had no attachment to the name, so I think it is something that can be changed in the name of keeping the peace and keeping people happy.”

A new name was not chosen, and this year’s event will be known simply as “Trick-or-treating in The Village.”

Suggestions will be accepted in an effort to find a more permanent name.

The idea to change the name was originally broached at the LJVMA marketing committee’s meeting Aug. 23.

Those in favor of a change argued that in addition to possibly being offensive, the name Pillage the Village doesn’t immediately suggest trick-or-tricking. Those opposed argued that the event has always been called Pillage the Village, with no complaints from the community.

This year’s Village trick-or-treating will be the afternoon of Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31, during which children will be invited to visit local participating businesses — indicated by balloons — to get a treat.

Other LJVMA news

Wayfinding wrapping: A plan to decorate utility boxes with directional imagery may have hit a snag after San Diego Gas & Electric told LJVMA that it would not allow wrapping of utility boxes.

“We were flabbergasted because we see them wrapped all over the place,” said LJVMA Executive Director Jodi Rudick. “So we are going to continue to persevere. … We’re going to find out what the situation is. Even if we have to go to painting [rather than wrapping], we can still do the wayfinding.”

The board approved a request for proposals to find an artist to complete the work — whatever is allowed.

A utility box at Herschel Avenue and Silverado Street in La Jolla has been eyed for possible wrapping in directional imagery.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

In August, LJVMA identified the first of several utility boxes it intended to wrap in images designed to help people find their way around.

The chosen pilot location is a large utility box near the bus stop at the corner of Herschel Avenue and Silverado Street that would be adorned with an image of a compass pointing to local attractions.

LJVMA recently received $20,000 from San Diego County to help with the association’s wayfinding program, which involves placing directional signs throughout The Village to help visitors get to beaches and area landmarks, and it is working with Enhance La Jolla, which administers the Village Maintenance Assessment District, to identify boxes to decorate.

La Jolla Village Merchants Association board members meet Sept. 14 at the La Jolla/Riford Library.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Election update: Fourteen candidates are up for 12 spots in LJVMA’s upcoming board election. Of them, 10 are incumbents and four are new candidates.

“I love the engagement and that every [candidate] is on the same page with ... our key goals for the year,” Anderson said.

Rudick said it is “very exciting” to have candidates who haven’t previously been involved with the organization.

A list of the candidates will be posted at

Ballots will be available to eligible voters in coming weeks and can be returned to the LJVMA office at 7734 Herschel Ave., Suite C, or sent via mail.

The ballots will be opened in person and counted on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and the winners will be announced. The elected board members will be sworn in at the LJVMA meeting Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Village Merchants Association next meets at 4 p.m. Oct. 12 at the La Jolla/Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.