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With so many events, festival and general business being upended by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the cities and towns in Randolph County are all planning to move forward and host trick or treating this year. With careful planning and decision making, several events will take place on October 31. From chili suppers to costume parades and community events will be happening in every corner of the county on Halloween night. 

To kick-off the trick-or-treating events, the Randolph County Junior Leaders will host a special trunk or treat on Monday, October 26. From 6-8 pm individuals are invited to enjoy this drive-thru style event at the Randolph County Fairgrounds on Highway 27 just south of Winchester. Encouraged to come in costumes, participants will have the opportunity to take part of this free family fun evening. Games, prizes, candy and refreshments are slated for those who attend. Attendees will also receive a free pumpkin while supplies last. Youth are asked to be chaperoned by an adult please. Masks are required and COVID guidelines will be followed.

Turning to Saturday, October 31, there will not be a shortage of places for the ghouls and goblins to collect the ever coveted candy galore. Many communities and event planners are asking everyone to follow guidelines and be prepared to wear masks at many events.

The City of Winchester has been working to make sure local children can fully enjoy Halloween festivities while still being cautious of COVID-19.

Trick-or-Treating hours will be from 5 to 8 pm on Saturday, October 31st. The Halloween Parade hosted by Main Street will start line-up at 5 pm at the Ohio Valley Gas Company on Meridian Street and begin at 5:15 pm. The Randolph County YMCA will also be downtown offering activities for everyone to take part in.

During this same time, streets around the square on Main, Meridian and Franklin and by the library will be closed to allow organizations that normally host indoor activities to set-up outside. Additional vendors and participants are welcome. However, all those setting-up activities, handing out treats, or selling products will be required to sign that they have reviewed and will abide by COVID-19 safety precautions. Those attending will also be expected to follow all safety precautions and understand the risks.

To learn the latest information about Winchester’s trick or treating watch their Facebook page. If you are interested in hosting activities or being a vendor, please call 765-584-6845 Ext. 2101.

Union City will also be host to a parade on Halloween night. At Artisan Park in downtown Union City, from 5-7 pm will be trunk or treating. The Union City Lions Club will host a parade during this time. Then from 7-9 pm door-to-door trick or treating will be conducted on both sides of the State Line.

In Parker City, the Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting their annual Fall Festival. From 1-6 pm they will host their free chili supper. There is no charge but donations are accepted. They will also have games and face painting from 2-5 pm. Trick-or-treating will occur from 6-8 pm and then afterwards the public is invited to come back to the station for free hot dogs, hot chocolate, hayrides, bonfire and a halloween dance for the kids.

Lynn Fire Department will also be hosting a drive-thru style Chili Supper on Halloween night. From 5-7 pm you can grab and go with a chili supper meal for only $5. Trick-or-treating will be from 6-8 pm.

Farmland will host city wide trick-or-treating from 5-9 pm on October 31 as well as Ridgeville from 6-8 pm and Saratoga from 5-7 pm.

Modoc and Losantville in the southwestern part of Randolph County will also host events. The Union School will have trunk or treating from 6-8 pm and Losantville will host the door-to-door event from 5-7 pm on Halloween night.

Events are held with the understanding the CDC and the State of Indiana and Ohio may enact more restrictions at any time and therefore plans may change at any time.

Halloween Health & Safety Tips

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help ensure your children have a healthy and safe Halloween.

Costumes:

• Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.

• Look for "flame resistant" on the costume labels.

• Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks.

• Avoid any sharp or long swords, canes, or sticks as a costume accessory.

Pumpkins:

• Never allow small children to carve pumpkins alone.

• Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin.

• Do not place candlelit pumpkins on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.

At Home:

• Remove tripping hazards to keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters.

• Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

• Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and steps.

• Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

On the Trick-or-Treat Trail:

• Always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

• Only go to homes with a porch light on.

• Never enter a home or car for a treat.

• Know how to reduce your child's risk of a pedestrian injury-the most common injury to children on Halloween.

- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.

- Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.

- Carry a cell phone for quick communication.

- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.

- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.

- Never cut across yards or use alleys.

- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.

- Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!

Healthy Halloween:

• Give your child a good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating;

• Consider offering non-edible goodies to trick-or-treaters visiting your home;

• Keep an eye on what your child has in his or her mouth at all times while on the trick-or-treat trail. Wait until children are home to sort and check treats;

• Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.

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