Community hosts Halloween events during lead-up to holiday

Published 9:00 am Sunday, October 21, 2018

Whether it’s DIY or buy, get your costume ready early for some community events that make the lead-up to Halloween as scary good as the holiday itself.

Trunk or treat

Can’t wait until Halloween (or want to double your candy haul)? Crossroads Church is gearing up for Halloween early with a family-friendly trunk or treat. Come see car owners create in their trunk, collect candy, ride a train and participate in further fun from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday in the Crossroads Church parking lot. This event is free.

Howl-O-Ween

Why let your human children have all the fun? Bring your four-legged monsters to a party of their own from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 27 at The Pet Authority. The event’s Facebook page promises eerie amusements and macabre merrymaking in the form of a pet costume contest, Halloween treats, a scavenger hunt and games and prizes. The costume contest winner will be announced via Facebook on Nov. 1. This event is free.

Halloween Carnival

Children from kindergarten through fourth grade are invited to a carnival hosted by Unlimited Possibilities Dance Studio. Activities include a cupcake walk, face painting, raffle drawings, surprise special guests, treats, games and more. The Halloween Carnival runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the Unlimited Possibilities Dance Studio in Skyline Plaza. This event is $10 per participant.

Fall Fest

Halloween’d out already? Here’s a breather before gearing back up for the day-of festivities. The Fall Fest will include food, a bouncy house and games. The Fall Fest runs from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Abundant Life Church. This event is free.

Halloween Spooktacular

Downtown Albert Lea is getting in the Halloween spirit the evening of, too, with its Halloween Spooktacular. The event includes train rides, pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating at participating businesses, a corn pit to play in, a haunted hallway in the Convention and Visitors Bureau, hot apple cider, popcorn and more. Come before your trick-or-treating or let this event move all your Halloween plans downtown from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31. This event is free.

Pic & Treat

While you’re downtown, you can add Meraki Studios to your list of stops. Show off your killer costumes to Meraki owner and photographer Holly Karsjens, who will be taking one photo per trick-or-treat group and posting the final images on Facebook. It’s a first-come, first-serve event that also doubles as a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Freeborn County. Pictures will be taken from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31 at Meraki Studios. This event is free, but donations can be made to the humane society at the studio.

Trunk or treat

If one trunk or treat isn’t enough, you’re in luck. Car owners are putting their creativity on display for trick-or-treaters, who can come to Grace Lutheran Church in their costumes to see the trunks and, of course, fill their goody bags. Trick-or-treaters can visit from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Grace Lutheran Church parking lot. Those who would like to decorate their own trunk for the event an contact the church. This event is free.

Stay safe on Halloween with tips from the Albert Lea Police Department

  • Make sure your child’s field of vision is unobstructed by their costume.
  • If children are wearing masks, check they can see through it, Deputy Chief of Police Darren Hanson said.
  • If your child is out at night, make sure they are visible. Hanson recommended using reflective tape or glow sticks to light up your child’s costume. As an adult, make sure you are also able to be seen by motorists.
  • If a costume has dangling pieces, they are a catch hazard. Make sure your child isn’t pulled off their feet by a stray clothesline by securing anything that could get caught, Hanson said.
  • Send your child out with an adult you trust, whether that’s a sibling or neighbor. “They should be with someone responsible,” Hanson said.
  • Stick to well-lit areas.
  • Trust your gut if you have concerns about a house, car or person who seems to be where they shouldn’t. “It’s always best to trick or treat at houses where you know the people,” Hanson said.
  • Don’t let your children eat their treats until you are home and have had a chance to look through them.
  • Pay attention. “Stick your phone in your pocket,” Hanson said. “Don’t have your attention diverted.” This means you can keep tabs on who your child is talking to or whose house they’re approaching.
  • Drivers should have safety on their minds on Halloween, too, Hanson said.
  • If it’s frosty, make sure your windshields are well scraped and your visibility is good. Look out for pedestrians. “There’s going to be people in areas where you don’t normally see people walking,” he said.
  • Be a good neighbor. “Don’t watch out just for your kids,” Hanson said. “We’re part of a community. Watch out for the community as a whole.” If you see something suspicious, “something that kind of makes the hair stand up — and not in a good way — on Halloween,” Hanson said, call law enforcement.

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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