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Howling good time planned for Halloween
Kids can trunk or treat Saturday at park
Trunk or treat preview pic
A thousand kids dressed up for Halloween are expected to Trunk or Treat Saturday afternoon from 4-7 p.m. at Rock Creek Park. - photo by File photo

Staying Safe

The Safe Kids Worldwide initiative suggests the following tips to help children stay safe this 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.
• Always walk on sidewalks or paths.
• 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.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
•Drive safely on Halloween.

As parents help their little ghost, goblins, fairies and princesses put the finishing touches on their Halloween costumes this week, the staff at Rock Creek Park is busy preparing for more than a thousand trick or treaters at the annual Trunk or Treat festivities.

With Halloween falling on Saturday, organizers are expecting the biggest crowd to date.

"The last two years, we have had close to 900 children and hope to see even more this year," said Buffie Hamil, programs coordinator for the park system.

Taking children trick or treating at public parks, churches and malls has become increasingly popular in recent years, due in part to parent safety concerns.

Hamil said trunk or treat offers a well-lit, secure environment with a specific area designated for trick or treaters, sectioned off from vehicle traffic.

In addition to several local clubs, groups, churches and community members passing out candy, there will also be face painting, a bounce house and hay rides.

The event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. A free family movie will follow.

"If you like free movies, then plan to stick around after Trunk-or-Treat ends for an outdoor showing of Hotel Transylvania, which will be shown on a huge, inflatable screen in the outfield of one of the baseball fields," Hamil said.

Concessions will also be available with proceeds benefiting the park's Relay for Life team.

"We'll be offering homemade soup, chili, mac-n-cheese, baked goods, drinks and more --- everything $1," she said.

For those families opting to go door-to-door this Halloween on the prowl for treats, authorities are urging caution on area streets to keep the county's youngsters safe from harm.

"Everyone should remain aware of their surroundings, make sure they are wearing reflective clothing and utilizing sidewalks and crosswalks for their safety," said Dawson County Sheriff's Maj. Ray Goodie. "Children should always be accompanied by an adult, and I hope that everyone has a fun, but safe, time."

While Dawson County doesn't designate when trick-or-treaters can go door to door, kids are expected to hit the streets as early as 4 to 4:30 p.m. for the annual Halloween ritual.

According to the Safe Kids Worldwide initiative, twice as many child pedestrians are killed on Halloween than there are throughout the rest of the year.

There will also be trick-or-treating at North Georgia Premium Outlets for children from 3-6 p.m. on Halloween.

The outlets encourages families to participate in this year's Halloween Boo Bash, where children under the age of 12 will receive free trick-or-treating bags by visiting guest services located in the Food Pavilion while supplies last.