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Several Columbia County events celebrate Halloween

Posted: October 23, 2012 - 11:11pm

Halloween is a week away, and several family-friendly events will be held leading up to the holiday.

Columbia County is holding the 12th annual Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat on Thursday. The indoor trick-or-treating event is from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Patriots Park gym at 5445 Columbia Road.

“It’s very safe,” county Community Events Specialist Virginia Atkins said. “I think this is a big favorite in our area for Halloween events.”

Local businesses will provide trick-or-treating booths as well as Halloween crafts and inflatables. The first 400 children will receive a Halloween candy bag.

Admission is a canned food item and all proceeds go to the Columbia County Cares food pantry.

“The parents love it,” Atkins said. “The kids love it. It’s safe and you’re supporting the Columbia County Cares food bank.”

Columbia County Community Connections is holding a Monster Mash Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Harlem City Park.

The event will feature a costume contest, refreshments, games and activities, including a video game trailer with Kinect, Wii and Minute to Win It games inside.

“It’ll be fun,” Miller said. ‘‘I hope it’ll be a good time for the kids.”

Teens are invited to take the pledge to mash out underage drinking as part of Red Ribbon Week, Community Connections Executive Director Julie Miller said.

“We wanted to have some fun and also get across the serious message that alcohol causes a lot of problems for young people and families,” Miller said.

Admission is $2 or individually-wrapped snacks for the Saturday Sacks program, which provides needy children with food on the weekends.

Several area churches are holding Halloween-related events.

Sharon Baptist Church in Appling is holding its annual Fall Carnival and Trunk-Or-Treat 6-8 p.m. today at 6262 Cobbham Road. The free carnival features trick-or-treating for children through fifth grade, games, popcorn, hot dogs, inflatables and cotton candy.

Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church will hold its fall carnival at 4 p.m. Saturday at the church at 703 Furys Ferry Road. The free carnival will include hay rides, inflatables, games, face-painting and a Bible character costume contest. Organizers ask that adults don’t wear masks and children avoid horror costumes.

Wesley United Methodist Church is holding its annual Pumpkinpalooza family festival 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the church on North Belair Road in Evans. The festival has a variety of crafts, games and rides.

Trick-or-treaters are welcome at Marvin United Methodist Church’s annual Trunk or Treat and chili cook-off on Wednesday. The free event is 6-8 p.m. at the church on Wheeler Road at South Belair Road in Martinez.

Anyone can enter the cook-off by bringing a pot of chili, which will be given away. Judges will vote on the winner.

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

• Wear light-colored costumes to be easily seen by motorists. Costumes also should include glow sticks, flash lights and/or reflective tape.

• Avoid loose-fitting costumes and accessories such as wigs, caps and long skirts. They can cause children to trip and ignite in the open flame of a jack-o-lantern.

• Opt for face paint instead of masks, which can obscure a child’s vision.

• Children should wear sturdy shoes to avoid tripping.

• Younger children should be accompanied by adults along a route that minimizes street crossings. Only visit homes with lights on.

• Older children trick-or-treating without adults should follow a planned route to homes they know and carry a cell phone in case of emergency.

• Avoid poorly lit homes and never go into a stranger’s home.

• Children should have a snack or light meal before trick-or-treating to avoid the temptation to sample candy before an adult has checked it.

• Homeowners should clear debris and tripping hazards, such as rakes and hoses, from potential paths through the yard.

• Battery-operated jack-o-lanterns and other decorations reduce the risk of costumes catching fire. Use
fire-retardant costumes.

• Motorists should be on the lookout for children and be prepared to stop if they dart into the roadway.

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