Staying Safe on Halloween

The end of October marks a popular holiday of fun and fright — Halloween, and Valley City will have plenty of Halloween events to entertain locals. With the spooky holiday, though, comes risks. The Valley City Police Department has some advice to keep children and teens safe on Halloween.

Cody Thibert, police officer at the Valley City Police Department, says that everyone should be aware of the extra children out on Halloween night and during public Halloween events.

“Be careful and slow it down,” Thibert advises. “There’s going to be lots of kids crossing the streets everywhere.”

Thibert said children who go trick-or-treating should keep some sort of light with them so motorists and pediestrians can see them. He suggests a flashlight or reflective material.

Kids should stay with an adult and always let somebody know where they’re going to be, Thibert said.

“Travel in groups,” he advises.

Perhaps the more popular half of trick-or-treat — the treat — also poses a safety concern. Candy and other treats children get from trick-or-treating runs the risk of being contaminated.

Thibert says parents should check the candy that their children get, and “not eat anything that’s not in a wrapper.”

These safety suggestions should be kept in mind during public Halloween events that will be held in Valley City.

The eighth annual Ruckus at the Rec will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Recreation Center gym in Valley City.

Ruckus at the Rec features an evening of carnival games for all children ages pre-school through 6th grade. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to join their children in costume to add to the Halloween atmosphere. Community and surrounding area businesses and organizations as well as interested individuals assist with the activities.

The event, hosted by Valley City Parks and Recreation, is “a free event safe for children to wear costumes and have fun,” said Diane Sommerfeld, employee of VCPR.

Games and prizes are provided by the VCPR office, but volunteers are needed to assist in running the activities. Each booth provided by VCPR needs 3-4 volunteers.

The VCPR is also asking for donations of pumpkins, candy, food coupons and any monetary amount. Those interested in helping can call Sommerfeld at (701) 845-3294.

Donations will also be taken at the door for the Barnes County Food Pantry, and the Valley City Lions will be collecting used eye glasses with a drawing for Chamber Bucks at the end of the evening.

In a more frightful event, Valley City State University will host a haunted hall on the third floor of Mythaler Hall on campus. The event is open to the public, and will be held from 8:30 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 30. The admission is $3.

Several clubs, athletic teams and organizations, including Viking Ambassadors, the softball team, and resident assistants, at VCSU are involved.

Kari Stricklin, director of student activities at VCSU, said each club picks a room and creates a scene. Each room will have a different feel to it, and a contest will be held for the individual rooms.

VCSU will also host trick-or-treating at McCoy Hall on Oct. 29 from 7-8:30 p.m. Students in the dorm rooms will hand out treats to trick-or-treaters.