Rock Creek Park is preparing for a hauntingly good time at its eighth annual Trunk or Treat festivities on Halloween. It will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31.
The family-friendly event began at the park eight years ago as a way to provide children in the community a safe place to trick-or-treat in a well-lit and traffic-free environment.
Admission and parking are free and all ages are welcome.
Trunk or Treat is sponsored by local businesses and organizations including the sheriff’s office, Rotary Club, Wee Books and K.A.R.E. for Kids. There are currently over 40 sponsors and the list keeps growing, according to Buffie Hamil, programs and facilities coordinator at the park.
“We started this event in 2012 with no idea it would become so huge so quickly,” Hamil said. “It continues to grow a little each year and we are so grateful to have such a supportive community of sponsors. They continue to set aside their Halloween afternoon year after year to provide a fun event for the families.”
Hamil anticipates around 3,000 people participating in Trunk-or-Treat this year, with about 1,000 of those being children.
There will be plenty of candy, treats and toys for trick-or-treaters as well as free activities such as hay rides, carnival games, bounce houses and face painting.
Hamil said the parks department will also be selling concessions to raise money for the Parks and Rec Relay for Life team.
“We’ll have drinks, popcorn, chili, soups, mac and cheese, hot dogs and Kona Ice available for purchase, so families can trick or treat and have dinner all in one stop,” Hamil said.
Activities and booths will be set up in the cloverleaf ball fields (Fields 9-12). Booths will be set up along the sidewalks while the activities will be set up in the outfields of the fields.
“This is an extremely fun event that we look forward to each year,” Hamil said. “We love that we are able to offer the community a safe place for the kids to trick-or-treat, where there is good lighting, no vehicle traffic and restrooms on site. And it is done during a time frame of the day that allows families to be home before dark or make other trick-or-treat stops once they leave Rock Creek and still make it home at a decent hour.”
Rock Creek Park is located at 445 Martin Road in Dawsonville.
Tips for staying safe
The Safe Kids Worldwide initiative suggests the following tips to help children stay safe on Halloween:
• Walk safely.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
• Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.
• Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
• Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
• Trick-or-Treat with an adult.
• Keep costumes both creative and safe.
• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
• Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
•Drive safely on Halloween. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.