Communities plan Halloween events, trick-or-treating hours
Several area communities have announced plans for Halloween events and trick-or-treating.
The haunted house in the old Batavia Elevator at the end of Third Street on the north side of the railroad tracks continues from 7-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Nov. 1 and 2. The $5 admission helps the Batavia Days Committee fund Batavia Days, Hillbilly Shrine Club, scholarships for Fairfield and Cardinal high school graduating seniors and more.
The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce Merchants Committee has scheduled the Fairfield Merchant Family Trick or Treat from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Participating merchants will display posters in their windows.
The Jefferson County 4-H Teen Council will host its third annual trunk-or-treat from 3-6 p.m. Sunday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Children can collect treats from the trunks of participating 4-H clubs, families and invited participants. Games, a cakewalk and concessions are planned.
The Fairfield Public Library will have “When the Lights Go Out …” from 6-8 p.m. Sunday. Participants can play games, make crafts and eat a snack in the meeting room while waiting for their number to be called for a tour through the library to meet characters from books as portrayed by Way Off Broadway members. Free tickets are available at the door or in advance at the library reference desk.
The Fairfield Park and Recreation Department will have is Spookride for prekindergartners through fifth-graders from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Chautauqua Park. Participants will take a short spook walk and then ride the haunted wagon the rest of the way around the park and finish with a hot dog roast. Admission is $1 per rider, with those 5 and younger free.
The park and rec department will have a Halloween costume contest Oct. 31. Everyone in costume can stop by Roosevelt Community Recreation Center to have his or her photo taken. The photos will be judged by rec center members, with the winner announced Nov. 8. The winner receives $50 in Chamber Bucks to be used at participating businesses.
Fairfield City Council has set trick-or-treat hours from 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 31.
Packwood is planning a Halloween party in the community center from 5-6 p.m. Oct. 31, followed by trick-or-treating from 6-8 p.m.
Van Buren County
The Bentonsport Halloween Party is set from 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The party will include trick-or-treating at the stores, a hayrack ride, a haunted tunnel games and activities for children, with prizes. Glow sticks and paper lanterns will be available for purchase. The paper lanterns all will be released at 7:10 p.m. A few Buckskinners will be in the park.
Douds will have a costume parade from 5-6 p.m. Saturday at the Field Day Grounds. Beggars’ Night trick-or-treating will begin at 6 p.m.
Bonaparte will have a Halloween parade and hot dog roast at 1 p.m. Sunday in City Park. Participants will meet at the park, parade through downtown, then return to the park for hot dogs and hot chocolate. Bonaparte’s Beggars’ Night will be from 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, Cantril and Milton will have trick-or-treat hours from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and Farmington’s trick-or-treat hours will be 5-8 p.m.
Birmingham has set its trick-or-treat hours from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31.
Stockport will have a hot dog roast in City Park during its trick-or-treat hours from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 31. Trick-or-treaters also can stop at the Stockport Library from 4-7 p.m. to try to “trick” librarian Beverly Runyon out of her candy.
Keosauqua Chamber of Commerce is planning a Safe Stops and trunk-or-treat from 4:30-6 p.m. Oct. 31. Businesses will be handing out candy, and, new this year, people are invited downtown to pass out candy from their vehicles’ trunks. Participants can wear costumes and decorate their vehicles. Also new this year, the chamber is hosting a sack dinner outside the Keosauqua Library. Hot dogs, chips, cookies and a drink will be available for a freewill donation.
Trick-or-treating safety tips
Trick-or-treating hours may have been set in other communties; check with the local city halls.
Halloween is meant to be fun for the young and the old alike, but it also can be unsafe.
Costumes may impair a child’s vision and motor function. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says studies indicate Halloween is in the top three holidays producing the most visits to hospital emergency rooms. Finger and hand injuries account for 17.6 percent of injuries, and children ages 10 to 14 sustain the greatest proportion of Halloween injuries.
A good deal of children become injured before Halloween arrives, many of whom sustain lacerations when carving pumpkins.
To make Halloween a safe holiday, children and adults can heed these suggestions:
• Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes. Although kids might want to wear shoes that match the costume, shoes that fit well and are comfortable are a safer bet. It will help prevent tripping and falling. It also reduces the risk of developing blisters and discomfort.
• Go trick-or-treating in groups. Children should not be allowed to go out in search of candy alone. Going in a group means someone can get help if need be. Also, there is safety in numbers. Predators won’t view a child as an easy target if he or she is with fellow trick-or-treaters.
• Be visible. Since daylight saving time begins shortly after Halloween, there are fewer hours of daylight for trick-or-treating. When Halloween falls on a weekday, children have to wait until after school to venture out, and it can quickly become dark. Make sure children have flashlights and put reflective tape on their costumes so they will be more visible to pedestrians and motorists.
• Stick to the sidewalks. Children should stay on sidewalks and cross the street only at crosswalks.
• Do not enter homes. Unless a child is with an adult and the home is owned by a trusted friend, kids should not enter homes for treats.
• Avoid candles and jack-o-lanterns. A costume can easily catch on fire.
• Bring water. Costumes can become hot and uncomfortable, especially when worn for long periods of time. Be sure children have water to rehydrate themselves.
• Accessorize safely. Select flexible swords and knives if they are accompanying a costume. Avoid rigid items that can cause injuries.
• Examine all candy before eating. Before kids have their first bite, parents should inspect candy wrappers to determine if there has been any tampering. Also, avoid homemade treats unless the people who prepared the items are known.
To help keep pets safe, consider the following tips:
• Keep pets indoors. Frightened animals may run away or grow disoriented and get lost. Sometimes pets are victims of Halloween pranks. Sometimes black cats are stolen, and dogs left outside may be teased and taunted.
• Don’t take dogs trick-or-treating. Crowds could excite a dog. Other animals could get loose from homes when the doors are opened.
• Skip costumes for pets. It may stress out the animal.
• Be mindful of holiday decorations. Strings of lights, fake spider webs and other decorative items can be tripping hazards for pets, while electronic devices could pose a safety risk. Avoid lit candles in the home because cats or dogs may knock them over.
• Keep pets secured in a bedroom or another quiet space. A dog or cat may try to bolt outside every time the door is opened to trick-or-treaters. Instead, keep the animals in a bedroom or laundry area. They will appreciate the quiet, and they won’t have a chance to escape and get lost.
• Pets may be drawn to the sweet smell of candy. Candy and wrappers can be hazardous. Store candy where pets can’t get it and discard wrappers.