Ghosts, goblins, ghouls ready to hit the streets
Bare trees, shorter days, a nip in the air, jack o'lanterns on doorsteps and candy flying off store shelves can mean only one thing. Halloween is upon us.
And communities throughout Monroe County, as usual, are embracing the spookiest day of the year, which falls on this coming Thursday.
While all community-wide trick-or-treating times are on Thursday, times and other scheduled events vary.
In Sparta, neighborhood trick-or-treating is scheduled from 4-7 p.m.
However, Trick or Treating in Historic Downtown Sparta will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Bring the family downtown, dress-up in your favorite costume and enjoy tricks, treats and tons of Halloween fun at participating Sparta businesses. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Look for bright orange “Trick or Treat Stop” posters on the doors of participating Sparta businesses.
Organizers recommend starting at one end of downtown Sparta, either at the Quilt Corner, located at 219 North Water Street, or Ole & Bean Creations at 102 Jefferson Avenue.
Then make your way up Water Street to Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home where there will be a party for the kids beginning at 5 p.m.
In Tomah city-wide trick or treating runs from 5-8 p.m. In addition, from 4 -5 p.m. there will be trick or treating at Tomah Nursing & Rehabilitation (Care Center) at 1505 Butts Ave.
From 4:30-6:30 p.m. there will be a free Halloween Party at Recreation Park at 1625 Butts Ave., complete with games and plenty of prizes. At 5:15 p.m. costume judging will take place for cutest, most original and scariest in six age groups from 0 to 100-plus.
The Tomah Library will be hosting Grown-Up Movie Night at 6 p.m., featuring free movies and free popcorn. You must be 18 year old or older to participate.
In Norwalk, the Norwalk Lions Costume Party will be from 7-8 p.m.
at Norwalk Community Center. All ages are welcome. There will be cash prizes, and hot dogs, chips and apples will be served.
Wilton trick or treating runs 5-7 p.m. Houses handing out candy should have a porch light on and display an orange sheet of paper with a pumpkin on it. Those can be picked up at area business or the village hall.
Cashton trick or treating runs 4-7 p.m. The Fire Department will be handing out hot dogs at the fire station also from 4-7 p.m., while the Boy Scouts will be putting on a haunted house, beginning at 6 p.m. in the basement of the Community Center at 812 Main St.
The Cashton Library will be holding a story time and costume party from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
The Monroe County Health Department reminds residents that, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as other days of the year. They issued the following safety tips for a safe Halloween:
• Parents should establish a route for children in a known neighborhood.
• Children should use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
• Children should cross streets at the corner (using crosswalks when they exist) and not between parked cars.
• Children should stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
• Motorists should drive slowly, watch for children in the street and on medians, and exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
• Children should wear clothing that is flame retardant and bright and reflective to motorists.
• Children should consider using face paint instead of masks, or should wear masks that are well-fitting with eye and ear holes that do not obscure sight or hearing; children should not wear floppy hats or hats that will slide over the eyes.
• To reduce the likelihood of tripping, children should wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes and costumes should be short enough so children don’t trip and fall.
• Flashlights or glow-sticks should be used so that children can be seen by motorists.
General Safety Planning:
• Parents should establish a curfew for older children.
• Children should only go to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering homes.
• Children should travel in small groups and should be accompanied by an adult.
• Children should have their names and addresses attached to their costumes.
• Children should bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect.
Adults should prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o-lanterns away from doorways or walkways.
• Children should use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
• Adults and children who are carving pumpkins should use stable, flat surfaces with good lighting; draw and follow patterns on the outside of the pumpkin instead of freehand carving; and use blunt instruments with dull serrations specifically designed for pumpkin carving.
• Do not use novelty contacts such as “cat eyes” or “snake eyes.”