Big ghouls and little alike — Are you prepared for Halloween tonight?
With official times for trick-or-treating in the area being set for the evening of Friday, Oct. 31, more people are being afforded the opportunity to get out in their neighborhoods, visit friends and family, show off their costumes and collect a few (or many) goodies.
Selbyville Police Chief Scott Collins said that, although it’s a fun night, safety should be paramount.
“The children should have some sort of reflective material on their costumes if they’re going to be walking on the side of the road,” he said. “The parent should never leave the child unattended — they should be within eyesight at all times.”
Since trick-or-treating will be after twilight, Collins recommended parents provide their children with small flashlights, as well.
He said it’s also important for parents in inspect their children’s candy loot before allowing them to dig in.
“I would be leery, unfortunately, of anything homemade. If it’s a store-bought item, look to see if the wrapper appears to have been opened.”
For those who are interested in handing out candy to little spooks, Collins recommends leaving a porch light on.
“I recommend to leave the outside lights on or be outside if possible. Sit out on your porch to let the trick-or-treaters know which houses are participating in trick-or-treating.”
For more than seven years in Millsboro, the town’s police and fire company, along with the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce, have been offering kids and their families the chance to trick-or-treat in a safe environment, with their Family Night Out.
“It’s during the main trick-or-treat time. It’s a stop where everyone is going to be safe. There’s nothing scary. It’s brightly lit, with our emergency personnel,” said Amy Simmons, the Chamber’s executive director.
Family Night Out will be situated on the lot next to the Dairy Queen in Millsboro and will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. — during the official hours of trick-or-treating in the town.
“The premise behind it was to get the police out into the public. Some other towns have a similar family night,” said Simmons, “so the public — especially the kids — can meet the police and not be so afraid of them when they see them at other times.”
Simmons said that, last year, more than 300 children attended, and they expect the same size of crowd, if not more, this year.
“We get donations of candy, and the police bag that candy up for us. The Chamber got involved with it on the candy side, with our membership donating candy. The Town also helps us.”
Simmons said the Millsboro Police Department has invited other agencies to attend the evening and sent a special invitation to crime dog McGruff, though he has yet to RSVP.
Kids attending the event will get the chance to do more than see emergency personnel, as each will go home with a glut of booty.
“It’s family-friendly and fun. The first year we were there, a company brought apples, and I thought, ‘These kids are not going to want apples.’ But they will ask, ‘Do you have apples?’” she said with a laugh. “They get an apple, a trinket toy, a bag of candy and a juice box. There are decorations up, nothing scary — everything is kid-friendly.”
Simmons said the Chamber hopes for good weather on Friday night, as well as a wonderful turnout for the event.
“And lots of fun — for everyone to have a good time,” she added.