The leaves are falling and Halloween is almost here and that means it is time for parents, kids and residents to prepare and be aware.
City of Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano recommends to parents to make sure costumes are safe for children and visible to others.
"Costumes should not obstruct a child's view, should be short to prevent trips and be light colored or use reflective tape to make children more visible in the dark," he said in a news release.
OBSERVER file photo
Police recommend trick-or-treaters go out together in a group for safety purposes.
Chief Ortolano also advises parents not to let children trick or treat alone.
"Younger children should be with parents, older kids with friends. Map a route ahead of time and make sure parents know the route," he recommends.
Ortolano suggests staying in lighted areas, carrying a flash light and keeping to sidewalks and crosswalks. He also strongly advises children never to enter a stranger's home or accept a ride from a stranger. If grabbed they should yell, kick and scream for help and immediately tell an adult they trust.
Treats should not be eaten before a parent's inspection.
"To avoid temptation give children a snack before they go out," he suggests.
This can also put off overeating of treats Halloween night that is unhealthy and can give kids a belly ache.
Residents can also hand out healthy prepackaged treats like fruit bowls, 100 percent juice boxes, goldfish, string cheese, individually packages raisins and other healthy options.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association also recommends on Halloween that motorists "Slow down," "Keep their eyes on the road," and "Never drink and drive."
"Halloween can be a lot of fun for kids and parents alike," Ortolano said, "Take a few extra minutes and remember the tricks and treats of playing it safe. A lot of the safety rules that apply to Halloween are good rules to follow all the time."
Residents should also be aware that all villages in the Chautauqua County region, except Westfield, Mayville and Fredonia, have decided to observe the holiday on Sunday.
According to the director of the Fredonia Recreation Department, Roger Pacos, "It was recommended to the Village Board that trick or treating occur on Saturday because that is the way it was done in the past and it follows a natural progression from the parade to trick or treating on Saturday." He said if there were large number of complaints about the date then next time around the village may consider observance on Sunday.
In Westfield, public safety and cost were of concern. "Saturday was more appropriate because it isn't a school night and kids will be out that night anyway. Also, extra police coverage on a Sunday night can be costly for the village. Saturday just works out better," Village Clerk Vince Luce said in a phone interview.
Fredonia residents should also be aware that Fredonia Middle school's fifth-grade class is collecting coins for UNICEF. This is the 60th anniversary of the fundraiser and the 14th year in the village. The purpose of the fundraiser is to empower children in the U.S. to make a difference in the lives of kids around the world. Fredonia residents are asked to be prepared for the children carrying boxes and information sheets by having change handy or setting out a bowl of coins.
Halloween Trick or Treat Hours (all on Sunday Oct. 31 unless noted) and Events (dates and times as noted) are as follows:
Trick or Treat: 6-8 p.m. Sunday
Parade Oct. 30, line up will be at 1:45 p.m. at the Fire Hall and the parade will begin at 2 p.m. and end back at the Fire Hall.
Trick or Treat: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday
Parade Oct. 31 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Fire Hall and Trick or Treating will follow.
Trick or Treat: 4-7 p.m. Sunday
Parade starting at 7 p.m. in the Cassadaga Elementary School, sponsored by the Cassadaga Fire Department.
Trick or Treat: 5-8 p.m. Sunday
Cherry Creek Jr. Fire Department, 6763 Main St., will be hosting a Halloween party and in house parade Oct. 31 from 3-7 p.m. There will be a costume contest with prizes, donuts, cider, candy, apple bobbing and more.
Trick or Treat: 4-7p.m. Sunday
Halls of Hysteria, at the old St Hyacinth's school, 296 Lake Shore Drive East. Called "Dunkirk's scariest haunted house" there are three floors of maze. Parents take note this is not for children under the age of 8. Admission is $5 and will be open Friday and Saturday Oct. 29 and 30 from 7-10 p.m.
Dunkirk Animal Clinic will have an open house Oct. 30 2-5 p.m. announcing Dr. Rebekah Frost as the new owner. There will be games, food, face painting, hospital tours and a pet costume contest with prizes.
Tick or Treat: 6-8 p.m. Sunday
Potluck Bash at the Village Hall Oct. 31 from 4-6 p.m. will be put on by the village to show appreciation for its residents.
Trick or Treat: 5-8 p.m. Sunday
Parade Oct. 31, judging of the floats at 5 p.m., starting at 6 p.m. at on the corner of Park St. and Rt. 39, and will end at the Fire Hall on Chestnut St. Cider and donuts and a DJ will be at the Fire Hall after the parade.
Trick or Treat: 3-7 p.m. Saturday
Costume Parade starting at 1 p.m. on the corner of Risley and Temple streets, heading south on Temple to Church Street. Individual marchers are encouraged to participate and line up on Risley Street at 12:30 p.m.
SUNY Fredonia will again host Terror in the Trees, Thursday to Saturday from 8-11 p.m. located in the woods off of Ring Road at Symphony Circle. Proceeds go to charity. This event is not appropriate for young children.
Fifth annual SUNY Fredonia Safe Halloween Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon in Mason Hall. For children middle school age and younger and admission is free. There will be crafts, live entertainment, games and much more. Children must be accompanied by an adult and there will be a canned food drive at the main entrance, donations are appreciated.
The 26th annual Laona Parade Saturday starting 3 p.m. at the cemetery on Webster Road and ending at the playground on Porter Street. There will be the traditional haunted house, live music and prizes for costumes. Donations will be accepted to fun the Easter egg hunt in the spring.
Family Fun and Treaters' at Lake Shore Chapel, 4552 W. Main St. Fredonia, Sunday 3:30-6:30 p.m. there will be bounce houses, wagon rides, cotton candy, popcorn, a maze, and games. All events and treats are a free, fun alternative to some other gruesome activities.
The White Inn is celebrating Halloween twice this year. Stop in the night of Saturday Oct. 30 and Sunday Oct. 31 to celebrate the holiday, the new management, staff and renovations with some good food and scary desserts.
Trick or Treat: 5-7 p.m. Sunday
Parade at 5 p.m. sponsored by the Gowanda Fire Department starting at the Gowanda School bus garages and down Aldrich Street to the new fire hall where cider and donuts will be served. There will also be a kids' costume contest.
Trick or Treat: 5-7 p.m. Saturday.
Trick or Treat: 5-8 p.m. Sunday.
Parade Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. starting at the town hall and ending at the fire hall where there will be cider, donuts and fun activities for kids.
Trick or Treat: 6-8 p.m. Sunday.
Trick or Treat: 4-7 p.m. Sunday.
Kiwanis Halloween parade starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Fire Hall and ends at the Backline teen dance club. There will be a costume contest with prizes and free cider and donuts.
Trick or Treat: 5-7 p.m. Sunday.
Trick or Treat: 5-8 p.m. Sunday
Kids' Halloween Story/ Craft Hour Saturday at the South Dayton Library 10 a.m. This event is free but parents are asked to supervise their children.
Trick or Treat: 6-8 p.m. Saturday
Parade Saturday at 6 p.m. starting at Tops Markets and ending at the fire hall where the Rotary Club is serving cider and donuts and there will be a costume contest with prizes for kids.