It’s that time of year when the leaves change color, the wind kicks up, the temperatures go down and the children start thinking about ghosts, goblins and free candy. Halloween is just around the corner, and area cities, as well as the county have set the time for trick-or-treating.
According to the Harlan County Judge-Executive’s office, the hours for trick-or-treating in Harlan County are 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 31.
The hours in Cumberland, Benham, Lynch, Loyall and Evarts coincide with the county’s. Harlan City has not officially set their hours, but according to the Harlan City Clerk’s office the city normally goes along with the hours set by the county.
In addition to normal trick-or-treating, both Cumberland and Harlan are planning “Trick or Treat on Main” events. The events will be held downtown in Harlan and Cumberland on Friday Oct. 30 from 3-5 p.m. Costumed children will be roaming the downtown areas with participating businesses handing out treats.
Safety is an important concern when it comes to trick-or-treating, and Harlan County Sheriff Leslie “Smitty” Smith has some tips for those participating this year.
“The most important thing is not to trick or treat alone,” Smith said. “Always walk with a group, stay together and make sure there’s at least one adult with any group of children.”
Smith pointed out the adult should be somebody known and trusted that the children will obey. He also mentioned it’s important to make sure children’s costumes can be easily seen by drivers. Trick-or-treaters should also stay outside the homes.
“Children need to refrain from going inside the homes, people are going to be on the porch or will come to the door,” said Smith. “I discourage them from going inside homes anywhere unless it’s family or somebody they know extremely well.”
Parents should make sure their children are easily visible to others before they depart on their rounds.
“A lot of the costumes these days aren’t designed to be reflective,” Smith said. “I encourage the parents to attach something reflective to the costume, so it can be easily seen.”
Smith says parents should examine all candy before it is eaten. Children should also only visit houses that are participating in trick-or-treating.
“Most everybody that has treats available will have a porch light on, and a lot of people will sit out on the porch,” Smith said. “They certainly shouldn’t go into any dark areas, for safety’s sake.”
Traffic safety is also a concern.
“The biggest thing is for trick-or-treaters not to assume that drivers see them,” said Smith. “They need to operate with the understanding that whoever is in that vehicle may not see them.”
Smith also said for drivers to keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters not only in well populated areas, but also on any rural road they are traveling.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde