Rock Creek Park is gearing up for its seventh annual Trunk or Treat festivities on Halloween night.
The family-friendly event began at the park in 2012 as a way to provide children in the community a safe place to trick-or-treat in a well-lit and traffic-free area.
The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 31. Admission and parking are free and all ages are welcome.
Last year, the event saw 3,000 people in attendance with approximately 900 to 1,000 of those being children. Buffie Hamil, programs and facilities coordinator at the county parks and recreation department said she anticipates the same turnout, if not more.
“We’re actually planning for more. We’ve prepared over 1,400 bags of candy for our department to give out,” Hamil said.
Trunk or Treat is sponsored by local businesses and organizations including the sheriff’s office, Rotary Club, Wee Books and KARE for Kids. There are currently over 40 sponsors and the list keeps growing, according to Hamil.
There will be plenty of candy, treats and toys for trick-or-treaters as well as activities such as hay rides, carnival games, bounce houses, face painting, miniature horses and an obstacle course.
Trunk or Treat is more than just a ghoulishly good time for kids. There are some great opportunities for those wanting to give back.
A mobile blood unit will also be on site for anyone who would like to donate blood, and concessions items will be available for purchase and will benefit the American Cancer Society.
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.
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.