2017-10-26 / Front Page

Local merchants welcome trick-or-treaters Tues. night

As a well-anticipated night of trick-or-treating fast approaches for the youth of Lincoln County, sev­eral businesses located on Main and Peachtree Streets are also getting into the Halloween spirit and will give out candy, toys, and other treats on Halloween for the kids to enjoy.

On the evening of October 31 until 7 p.m., B&J Appliance, Home Café, Goldman & Wengrow’s, Main Street Jewelry & Pawn, Rick & Co. Salon, and Jericho Florist will be as­sembled to dole out safe, but spooky, treasures to all trick-or-treaters. City Pharmacy will also give out candy, but during business hours only.

The community has been invited by each merchant to come see them on Halloween night.

Halloween has been an annual celebration for hundreds of years, and while it’s now considered a more lighthearted tradition with fun costumes and candy collection, the origins of the eve are steeped within ancient Celtic observances of the festival of Samhain, in which people would don costumes to ward off potentially wicked spirits.

According to History.com, “In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o- lanterns. Around the world, as days grow shorter and nights get colder, people continue to usher in the sea­son with gatherings, costumes, and sweet treats.”

Thanks to the Irish immigrants who swarmed America in the latter half of the 19th century, Halloween became quite the popular celebra­tion across the nation.

“Borrowing from Irish and Eng­lish traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became to­day’s ‘trick-or-treat’ tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or ap­pearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors,” History.com reports. “In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes.

History.com also records that “parents were encouraged by news­papers and community leaders to take anything ‘frightening’ or ‘.grotesque........’. .out... .of.. .Halloween....... .cel­ebrations, ... and in doing so, by the turn of the 20th century a more lighthearted approach to the holiday was adapted.

Today, millions of children and adults celebrate Halloween world- wide, and in light of that several non-profit organizations, including Safe Kids Worldwide, have issued safety tips for a fun night of tricks and treats as listed below: l Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. l Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. l Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. l Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. l Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. lWatch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. l Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervi­sion, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or- treat in groups. l Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. l Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child.’.s .vi­sion. .. l Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. l When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to pre­vent trips and falls. l Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. l Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs. l Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. l Eliminate any distractions in­side your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. l Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on earlier in the day. l Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30-9:30 p.m., so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

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