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Explainer: Halloween 2021 observation date, safety tips

Halloween night only falls on a Sunday once every few years. This happens to be one of those years – the last time it occurred was in 2010 – leading locals to question which day they should celebrate the holiday.

According to the city, it's a personal choice.

"The city does not have an opinion about when [trick-or-treating] takes place," Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said.

Similarly, the Aiken Department of Public Safety has not released an observation date. "We don't wish to weigh in on when holidays should be observed," said Lt. Jennifer Hayes.

The City of Aiken Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department will hold its annual Trunk or Treat from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Citizens Park. However, it is up to residents to decide when they wish to walk door-to-door in their neighborhoods.

Bedenbaugh said locals should "follow the standard" and check to see if the neighborhood has porch lights on, as an indication of whether they are participating in trick-or-treating on Sunday.

Other events include a Fall Fest Celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Lakeside Baptist Church, 4280 Jefferson Davis Highway, Beech Island; and a drive-thru Trunk or Treat from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31, at Central Baptist Church on Wire Road.

Safety tips

The city and Aiken Public Safety have released safety tips for children and adults leading up to the holiday.

The city emphasized the importance of being alert and conscientious while driving.

"We ask that motorists be mindful of people who are out and about, and as days are getting darker," Bedenbaugh said. 

Aiken Public Safety released a set of guidelines on social media for both children and adults:

Children

• Walk on a sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic, as far to the side as safely possible.

• Cross streets with a traffic signal if there is one and even if you have the right of way, make sure traffic has stopped or passed before you step into the street.

• Make yourself as visible to motorists as possible by carrying a flashlight, wearing a small flashing strobe light, and wearing reflective clothing.

• Ensure costumes fit properly and do not block vision or create tripping hazards.

• Always go trick or treating with a responsible adult.

• Never go inside a stranger’s house or vehicle.

• Have parents check candy before eating and throw away any candy with torn or opened wrappers.

Adults

• Use battery-operated candles or glow sticks in jack-o-lanterns.

• Keep all decorations clear of open flames or other heat sources.

• Plan on being a designated sober driver or walking buddy if a friend plans on drinking.

• Make sure your friends and family don’t drive after drinking.

• Don’t let friends or family walk alone after drinking.


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