Daily Union Staff Writer
Ghouls and goblins, witches and princesses, heroes and animals will all make their appearances at doorsteps throughout the county in the next few evenings asking for treats. Those who don’t comply may find themselves tricked.
As these masked bandits make their way from house to house, Shelbyville Police Department advises kids and drivers to watch out for each other.
“Drivers need to watch for trick or treaters because kids don’t usually watch for drivers,” said Shelbyville officer Paul Bennett.
Bennett offers other advice to trick or treaters.
“Go only to houses with porch lights on and go in groups. Try to have some bright clothing - bright enough to reflect light. Go to houses you know and don’t take candy from someone you don’t know.”
Bennett advises parents to go with their children and go through candy carefully upon returing home. He also advises parents to check the sex offender registry at www.isp.state.il.us/sor to be aware of where offenders live.
“Police officers will be out patrolling also,” Bennet said.
Various organizations are also offering safe trick or treating alternatives for Shelbyville children.
Shelby Electric Cooperative will hold trick or treating at its office from 6 - 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31.
Shelbyville First Assembly of God is also offering treats and hot drinks for trick or treaters and parents from 6 - 9 p.m. Wednesday evening. The church is located at the corner of Main and South Oak streets.
“We want to provide a place for people to feel safe and to come in out of the cold,” said Pastor Don Jefferies.
Shelbyville Lions Club will offer cookies and hot chocolate to trick or treaters in front of the ReMax office, 915 W. Main, from 6 - 9 p.m. Wednesday evening.
“This the the third year doing this and we enjoy it,” said Lions Club member Tony Lape “We’ve had a good turnout every time we do it. Last year we had over 100 kids.”
The Lions Club also encourages trick or treaters to collect used/discarded eye glasses, hearing aids, box tops, ink cartridges, and cell phones as they go from home to home. These items are repaired and recycled for people in need.
Trick or treat times are set for each of the following communities:
Cowden - Tues., Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m.
Strasburg - Tues., Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m.
Findlay - Wed., Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.
Moweaqua - Wed., Oct. 31, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Shelbyville - Wed., Oct. 31, 6-9 p.m. Halloween parade, sponsored by the Rotary Club, will begin at 5 p.m. at the Courthouse parking lot.
Stewardson - Wed., Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.
Tower Hill - Wed., Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.
Windsor - Wed., Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.
Clarksburg - Fri., Nov. 2, 6-8 p.m.
Other safety tips offered by the National Safety Council include:
• Ensure children under age 12 are supervised by an adult or older responsible youth. Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters intend to follow.
• Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
• Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit, never enter a stranger's home and establish a return time.
• Drivers should watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
• Dress children only in fire-retardant costumes.
• Keep costumes hemmed so they don't cause children to trip. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.
• Decorate Halloween costumes with light-colored and light-reflecting material if kids will be out after dark.
• Use facial make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
• Give children an early meal before sending them trick-or-treating. Tell children not to eat any treat until they return home and - when in doubt, throw it out!
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