Safe fun

Published 8:45 am Thursday, October 30, 2014

AHOSKIE – For all the little ghoulies and ghosties and others who’re out to celebrate Halloween, the Ahoskie Police Department has some events as well as some advice that may make things safely “go bump in the night”.

Local youngsters, ages 12-and-under, in search of tricks and especially treats in the rural areas of Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties can practice that annual quest Friday evening.

Ahoskie’s Haunted House will take place beginning Thursday (today) from 6-8 p.m., and on Friday from 6-9 p.m. at 301 West Main Street (the old Ahoskie Police Department/Fire Department building). Admission is $3 per person and come prepared to be scared.

Also Friday night, the Ahoskie Annual Fall Festival will take place at the Ahoskie Rec/Gym on Main Street from 6-9 p.m.  Included in the activities will be a movie, Walt Disney’s “Frankenweenie”, to be shown at dusk (6:30 p.m.) in the fenced-in soccer field on Main Street in front of the Ahoskie Police Station. Light refreshments will be sold.

The Ahoskie Police Department recommends that little ghosts and goblins (under 12) trick-or-treat between the hours of 6-8 p.m.

“Plan your costumes that are bright and reflective,” cautions Chief Troy Fitzhugh. “And consider putting reflective tape on your costumes and your trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.  If your trick-or-treating will be after dark we suggest supplying escorts. And maybe even the children with flashlights, and make certain they have fresh batteries.”

The Chief says costume selection as well as accessories with the attire should also be considered.

“When you’re shopping for a costume, wig, or other accessories look for labels that indicate they are flame-resistant,” he added. “Because masks can limit or block eyesight, you might want to consider non-toxic make-up and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Finally, make sure your shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping or entanglement.”

Because no parent wants the horror of a frantic search for a lost or displaced child, Fitzhugh also had some suggestions for making sure the children can communicate effectively.

“Remind older children to call 9-1-1- if they have an emergency or become lost,” he warned. “If you have a cellular phone, have your child bring it along so you can communicate with each other if that becomes necessary. You also might want to secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within the Halloween attire.”

Lastly, the Chief has a warning for those who will be operating motor vehicles – not flying broomsticks – that can keep little hobgoblins safe.

“Motor vehicles, actually any moving vehicle, can pose one of the biggest hazards to trick-or-treaters,” Fitzhugh says. “Drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk and in dark costumes.  To insure the safety of all trick-or-treaters, young and old, be sure to drive slowly all Halloween evening.  You never know what ‘creature’ may suddenly cross your path.”