It's almost time to throw on a costume and celebrate Halloween, but what's really scary during this holiday is not the ghosts and goblins, but the risk of harm. Charlottesville and Albemarle County police say there are several things you should know to stay out of harms way this Halloween.
Some hallmark advice when out trick-or-treating is to avoid houses that aren't well lit, and only eat candy that's properly packaged. In addition, remember to keep a flashlight with you while you're out, and stay on sidewalks to keep out of the roadways. Also, don't stay out beyond the normal trick-or-treating hours.
Dress safely by wearing bright colors so that you can be easily seen, and for darker outfits use reflectors. Children over the age of 12 are not allowed to wear a mask.
Drivers should also exercise caution by being more aware and driving more slowly in residential areas.
You can also go high tech with safety. Phone companies say you can download apps on your smartphone that plan a trick-or-treating route and track everyone if you decide to separate.
The City of Charlottesville and Parks and Recreation are also doing their part to keep you safe by again hosting the Safe Halloween Festival. It's is a family-friendly way to celebrate in costume. There will be crafts, games, a costume contest, and trick-or-treating on the Downtown Mall.
"It's just a way to promote business on the Downtown Mall, and just expose people to our beautiful pavilion area, City Hall area and the entire downtown mall community," said Bernie Garrison Recreation Supervisor at Charlottesville Parks and Recreation.
The Safe Halloween Festival is on Saturday from 2 to 5 P.M. at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion. It's free and open to the public.