Trunk-or-Treat event a safe, fun way to get the most wear out of costumes, police chief says

BUCKHANNON – Allow your child to take her or his costume for a test drive the night before Halloween at the Buckhannon Police Department’s annual Trunk-or-Treat event.

The Buckhannon Police Department is bringing back their Trunk-or-Treat for the fourth year, and the event is set for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the Public Safety Complex parking lot on Florida Street.

Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said the event is a good opportunity for families to utilize costumes and enjoy going out before trick-or-treating. The police department partners with the Buckhannon Fire Department, the City of Buckhannon, other first responder agencies in the county and businesses and organizations to put on the annual event.

“We don’t want to conflict with trick-or-treating,” Gregory said. “Trick-or-treat is on Halloween this year from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the city and from 6 to 8 p.m. in the county, so as we always try to have it a day or two before the actual Halloween trick-or-treat just so that we don’t conflict with that – and there’s a lot of things going on throughout the weekend and we try not to conflict with that, either,” Gregory said. “I’m sure the parents will appreciate that chance to maximize on those costumes.”

He said several agencies and businesses participate in Trunk-or-Treat every year.

“We partner with a number of different public safety agencies, fire departments, EMS, as well as other businesses and organizations from throughout the community,” Gregory said. “Generally, we have about 20 or 25 participants [giving out treats], and it’s been very successful.”

He said about 2,000 children and families participated in trunk-or-treat in 2018.

“There’s about 2,000 people, which, to put that in perspective, we call National Night Out a wild success if we have 600 or 700 people, and that’s typically what the turnout for that is,” Gregory said. “We triple those numbers for Trunk-or-Treat.”

Gregory said participants bring their vehicles and decorate with lights, music and other items.

“They decorate their cars with different themes, and some are really neat,” Gregory said. “There’s been some really interesting displays, and our VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) participate as well.”

In addition to the BPD and BFD, some of the organizations participating in Trunk-or-Treat include the Stockert Youth & Community Center, City Hall and several additional departments from the City of Buckhannon.

Gregory also said for many years the police department has attended schools to discuss safety during Halloween.

“We see about 600 kids when we do that program, and the program again focuses on tips like make sure that you stay well-lit areas,” Gregory said. “Make sure that you can be seen, take a flashlight, have glow sticks or reflective tape on your costumes, make sure to walk, not run and make sure you stay together.”

Other tips he mentioned were to make sure children only trick-or-treat at houses their parents/guardians are familiar with; to say “please” and “thank you”; and to only trick-or-treat at houses that have their lights on.

If a child must cross the street, he or she should look both ways and cross with a responsible adult. On that note, a responsible adult should always accompany trick-or-treaters, and they’re advised to stay on the sidewalk as much as possible. Trick-or-treaters should aim to be polite and not walk through yards.

Other don’t-dos? Kids shouldn’t talk to – or take rides from – strangers. Gregory also mentioned that an adult should check all candy once children get home to make sure all the candy is wrapped. If it’s unwrapped, throw it away.

In addition to the BPD’s Trunk-or-Treat, other trunk-or-treat events include:

  • Tech-or-Treat at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Fred Eberle Technical Center, 208 Morton Ave.
  • Trunk-or-Treat at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at South Buckhannon Mission Church, 152 Randolph St.
  • Trunk-or-Treat from 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27 at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 88 S. Kanawha St.

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