Be mindful in pursuit of candy

Published 12:58 am Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween is probably one of my favorite non-holidays of the year. It has been since I was little.

I mean, who doesn’t love free candy?

I remember going trick-or-treating when I was small. As I grew up, those nightly outings turned into Halloween parties. When I became a parent, I went back to trick-or-treating.

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Since she was born, Lizzie’s been a frog, a ladybug, Elmo, Supergirl and the Little Mermaid.

The past two years, Lizzie has picked out her disguise herself. If choosing the right Halloween costume is any indication, shopping trips to find the perfect outfit when she becomes a teen are going to be a nightmare.

This year, Snow White and I will once again take to the streets of Demopolis in search of hoards of candy. Free candy.

Since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, I expect to see record numbers of candy gobblers.

A Halloween Saturday also typically brings out teenage pranksters. Armed with toilet paper, water balloons and shaving cream, no tree, grown up or window is safe.

It may seem like a fun and harmless prank – and in many ways it is – but please remember one thing: it’s illegal.

Rolling someone’s yard is considered an act of vandalism, which is against the law. Hit someone with a water balloon and you may be facing a simple assault charge.

And if you think the Demopolis Police Department isn’t aware there’s a possibility these things can happen, you’re wrong.

Last year, I was impressed with the sheer number of police cars patrolling neighborhoods making sure the streets crowded with walkers were free of speeding cars.

That brings up another point: Watch for children – especially mine!

We’ve all got places to go, and there’s no reason to shut down city streets just because it’s Halloween, but keep in mind that kids will be darting back and forth across the street next Saturday. No matter how tightly we try to cling to them as their parents, they’re going to make a break for it at least once, and that one time may be in front of your car.

If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, you can find a handful of other options that will still allow you to enjoy the evening.

Fairhaven Baptist Church will host a fall festival next Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the church parking lot. The event is free to the community. There will be free hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones and booths and games for children. There will also be face painting, hay rides and more.

I hope each of you enjoy whatever it is you decide to do next Saturday.

For those of you who elect to stay home and give out candy to neighborhood children, I say thank you.

Buy lots of Reese’s Cups. Those are my favorite.

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.