The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is teaming up with Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar on Saturday to kick off their Cops and Kids Helmet Patrol event.
The free attraction, which will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Applebee's on North Belair Road in Evans, will include a bicycle safety course, bike checkups, face-painting and demonstrations by the sheriff's office, Columbia County Emergency Medical Services and Mar-tinez Fire Department.
"It's almost like a mini carnival," said Weindy Dehem, a regional marketing manager for Applebee's who also is the event's coordinator. "It's sort of like a fall festival without the cakewalks and things like that. It's just a fun family event.''
The day will give children the opportunity to go through a safety course, win a free bicycle and receive a free bicycle helmet and reflectors from Wal-Mart.
Sheriff's Staff Sgt. Trip Penn said the purpose of the event is to stress bicycle safety, especially at Halloween.
"We tell kids to wear reflective and bright-colored clothing whenever they are out in the evening so that people in vehicles (will be able to see them)," Penn said. "We also teach them the proper way to wear their helmet, which involves them taking off their Halloween mask."
He stressed that children who wish to participate in the event should bring their bicycles.
"If they don't bring their bikes, then they kind of don't benefit," he said.
In addition to the giveaways, Dehem said, children observed wearing a helmet, using safety signals and obeying all traffic laws will receive a "citation" from the sheriff's office.
"(Applebee's) has provided the sheriff's office with 5,000 citations to give to kids throughout the year," she said. "The citations will give (each) kid a free kid's meal to Applebee's. We just want to promote safety awareness."
Dehem said this is the second time the event has been held.
"We skipped last year because we couldn't get everybody's schedule," she said. "But we do want this to be an annual event. We had great success with it, and it was a lot of fun.''
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