Halloween and other fall events look different this year but many families with children are still looking for something fun to enjoy together. Fortunately, there are several options in and around the county. Below is a Halloween run-down in order of the date they are planned.
5-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29. Young Harris College staff, faculty and students invite families to Fall Fest: Reverse Parade. Cars may drive through a designated campus route and receive candy from costumed, masked participants.
Welcome Home Veterans
11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Oct. 31, Western Carolina Regional Airport in Andrews hosts the Second Annual Welcome Home for Veterans. At 9:30 a.m., a parade kicks off the festivities in downtown Andrews and ends at the airport. The celebration begins at 11 a.m.
with lunch, family friendly activities, military flyovers, display planes, vintage cars, motorcycles, Veteran Stand Down services, a chili cook- off and live music, includes Hayesville-based band Rude Carpenters, who will be distributing candy to children. American Legion Posts 532 of Hayesville, 96 of Murphy and 192 of Robbinsville and other area veterans’ organizations invite the community to this free event.
Drive-thru Trick or Treat
When social distancing restrictions forced cancellation of Trick-or-Treat Around the Square, Clay County Sheriff Bobby Deese and Clay Coun- ty Sheriff’s Office Cops for Kids program members were quick to fill the void. Drive thru trick-or-treating will be held at the Clay County Courthouse parking lot starting at 7 p.m. rain or shine. Families will remain in their vehicles as they drive through a maze of trick-or- treating opportunities offered by community organizations, businesses, churches, public offices and more. “This event is designed to promote family-oriented fun and an enjoyable experience for the kids while providing a safe environment for all,” it said. “Everyone in the area is encouraged to join in this community event,” Deese said.
Traffic will be directed into the Clay County Courthouse parking lot from Courthouse Drive throughout the event. It will continue until candy runs out or the last car comes through. Anyone who wants to distribute goodies must register and reserve a spot with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office where they will be assigned on a first-come first-served basis in order of a diagrammed flow chart of the route. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles for the entertainment of the children.
Saturday, Oct. 31
• Ledford’s Chapel will host a drive through Trunk or Treat in the parking lot of Matt's Ministries. Information shared says “a spooky good time” will be had from 5:30-7 p.m. or until the last car drives through. Matt’s Ministry is located at 123 W.J. Cabe Road, across the highway from Ledford’s Chapel.
• New Life Church is hosting a fall festival starting at 5 p.m. along with a Trunk or Treat. Families can enjoy live music, hayrides, paint the pony, fall foods, photo booth, cake walk and other games. The church is at 34 Sunrise Place, just off Highway 64 east of Hayesville.
• Oak Forest United Methodist Church at 990 Oak Forest Road in Hayesville will have a drive-thru Trunk-or-Treat, 5-7 p.m. Attend- ees will stay in vehicles and church members will distribute candy while wearing gloves.
Whether you choose to visit multiple events or stay at home, remember to follow the safety tips below offered by Clay County Sher- iff’s Office. In addition, don’t forget to set clocks back one hour when you go to bed Halloween night. Nov. 1 at 2 a.m. marks the time to “fall back” and gain an hour.
• Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
• Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
• Check the sex offender registry at: www.ncdoj.gov when planning your child’s trick-or-treat route. You can view maps that pinpoint registered offenders’ addresses in your neighborhood and sign up to get email alerts when an offender moves nearby.
• Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
• Make sure older kids trick-or- treat in a group.
• Instruct your 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 and never to enter a stranger’s home.
• Establish a return time.
• Tell your youngsters not to eat any treats until they return home.
• Review all appropriate trick-or- treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
• All children need to know their home telephone number and how to call 9-1-1 in case of emergency.
• Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and telephone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
• Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
• Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn under- neath.
• Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard.
• Make sure that shoes fit well to prevent trips and falls.
• If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of
retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.
While Trick or Treating:
• Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
• Walk; do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
• Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
• Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks.
• Give children an early meal before going out.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
• Wash fruit and slice it into small pieces.
• Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or partially wrapped or has a strange odor, color, or texture.
Halloween is a fun time but let’s make it a safe time as well. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes.