MOUNT VERNON – With October winding down, it’s almost time for Knox County’s ghouls and goblins to hit the streets in search of candy. This year, five communities will hold trick-or-treat festivities on Halloween night. There will be two events this weekend – one public, one private – to kick off Knox County’s spooky season.
Here is this year’s trick-or-treat schedule:
Apple Valley will hold its annual ‘Trick or Trunk’ night on Friday, Oct. 25 from 6-7:30 p.m. Children will be able to go from car to car, collecting candy. There will be a ‘Decorated Vehicle Contest’ and cash prizes will be awarded to winning vehicles. There will also be a ‘Haunted Hike and Maze,’ where families can stroll through the woods behind Floral Valley and explore the maze on the ball field.
Those present on Friday night will be able to enjoy popcorn, donuts and apple cider. A balloon artist will be on-hand. This event will be private to Apple Valley residents and their guests; those in attendance will be required to display a current property owner ID.
Ariel-Foundation Park will host its second annual ‘Trick-or-Treat Trail’ on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. More than 50 local businesses, organizations and churches will provide candy, games, and activity booths in the Schnormeier Event Center. This event will be free and open to the public.
Concessions will be available from Annie’s Concessions and Coffee Island Express. A DJ will be on-hand this year as well. An estimated 2,000 people were present at last year’s inaugural event.
Community trick-or-treat times:
Centerburg: Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
Danville: Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
Fredericktown: Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
Gambier: Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
Mount Vernon: Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m.
Halloween Health Tips
The Knox County Health Department is advising the public to take special safety precautions on Halloween, given the danger presented to children on trick-or-treat nights.
“Everyone wants to have fun, yet we want everyone to be safe,” Pam Palm, director of planning, education and promotion for the Knox County Health Department, said in a press release. “Despite all the fun with costumes and candy, Halloween can be a dangerous time for children.”
According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Most Halloween-related deaths occur at road crossings or intersections.
“The lack of visibility due to low lighting at nighttime obviously plays a factor in many of these deaths,” Palm said in the press release.
To prevent a tragedy from occurring, the Health Department gave the following tips:
Visible costumes: The Health Department recommends that children wear costumes that will not only be visible to others, but will also allow them to see clearly. That means comfortable masks with adequate eyeholes.
“Regardless of whether it’s a homemade costume or one you purchase, your child should be able to see as well as be seen,” the department stated.
The department recommended that parents use reflective tape on costumes or trick-or-treat bags, and that children carry a flashlight or glow stick with them.
“It’s also important to make sure that your child can move about freely,” the department added. “A costume that is too long or too bulky can cause problems when moving and may lead to dangerous falls.”
Buddy system: The Health Department recommends that children use the ‘buddy system’ if they are going out with friends and parents are not present.
“When they are out and about on Halloween, a responsible adult should accompany young children. If your older children are going without you, make sure you know where they are going and always encourage the buddy system,” the department stated. “Agree on a specific time when they should return home.”
Parents should advise their children to never enter a stranger’s home or car, the release said. The department also recommends that children abstain from eating treats until they return home, when “you can check the bag to avoid any unwanted surprises.”
Handing out treats: The Health Department recommends that if people are handing out treats, the distribution point should be “easily accessible and well-lighted.”
Homeowners are also asked to remove obstacles near the distribution point that children could trip over. Pets should also be restrained for the safety of children.
Watch the roadways: Drivers are asked to proceed with caution during trick-or-treat nights, and to watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. The Health Department recommends that people take extra time to enter and exit driveways, and to watch for children wearing dark clothing.
“At dusk and later in the evening, children in dark clothing are especially hard to see,” the department said. “If you have a new driver in your household, Halloween is not the time to be on the streets practicing your driving skills.”
Party responsibly: The Health Department noted that “many restaurants and bars host parties and events on Halloween.”
“If you are in attendance at one of these events, please refrain from drinking alcohol if you are driving or have a designated driver,” the press release stated. “The threat of being in an accident or the complications of getting arrested for driving under the influence will definitely make Halloween a haunted experience.”