Dawson County Parks and Recreation is hosting its fifth annual Trunk or Treat event at Rock Creek Park on Halloween. The event is free to the public and open to all ages.
The event, which will run from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, is sponsored by various local groups including Chick-fil-A of Dawsonville, Dawson County Woman's Club, Dawson County Wee Books and more.
Lisa Henson, parks and recreation director, said that the park held its inaugural Trunk or Treat event in 2012, so that children in Dawson County could have a safe, traffic-free area to go trick-or-treating. Since then the event has grown exponentially each year.
This year, cars will be parked near the sidewalk around the baseball fields to keep kids safe and out of the road.
The event includes lots of family fun activities and lots of candy, as well as miniature horses, carnival games, a bounce house, hayrides, an obstacle course and face painting.
"A concessions stand will serve chili, soups, hot dogs, coffee, hot chocolate and other warm foods during the Trunk or Treat," said Buffie Hamil, programs and facilities coordinator at the parks. "All proceeds from concessions go to Relay for Life."
The event attracted around 3,600 people last year, and 1,200 of those were kids.
According to Hamil, the park has already pre-bagged their candy, and have a stockpile that weighs around 140 pounds.
Businesses or individuals wishing to have a trunk at the fair must contact Hamil in advance. The park will not take any new participants the day of the event.
Many local churches are also holding their own Trunk or Treat events:
-First Baptist Church will host a Trunk or Treat and Fall Festival from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 26. All are invited. Call (706) 265-2612 with questions.
-Amicalola Baptist Church on Steel Bridge Rd. will have a Trunk or Treat from 2 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 29. There will be snacks, treats, games and a bounce house. Everyone is welcome. Contact Sherry Phillips at (706) 531-5333 for more information.
-Reach Church is hosting a Trunk or Treat event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31 at 751 Hwy. 53 E in Dawsonville.
Also, North Georgia Premium Outlets will host a free Boo Bash Trick-or-Treating event from 4 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29. There will be center wide Trick-or-Treating, games, music with DJ Crazy Mike in the gazebo and more.
Stores that are participating will display an orange pumpkin sign in their window. Those with a teal pumpkin will offer allergy-friendly options for children under 12. Parents can get a treat when they sign up for the VIP Shoppers Club.
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.
• 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.