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Halloween offers fun events

Although Oct. 31 is the official Halloween holiday, City of Atmore officials are calling for a change in traditional trick-or-treat times for area residents.

Atmore Police Chief Jason Dean said the holiday change was made based on a couple of factors.

“The change was made because of Sunday night being a church night and children having school the next day,” Dean said. “We want everyone to be as safe as possible without problems. The officially recognized time for trick-or-treat is from 5 until 8 p.m.”

Dean recommended a few safety tips to consider when planning an outing Saturday evening.

“Using common sense is always the best thing,” Dean said. “Parents need to make sure that smaller children are under constant adult supervision during the evening. If you plan to be out after dark, be sure to wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight. Parents should also inspect the candy before children begin consuming it. Remember, if the lights are off at a home, it’s a good idea to stay away from that particular house.”

In addition to trick-or-treater safety, Dean said motorists should also be extra cautious during the three-hour period.

“We encourage motorists to also be very careful during that time,” Dean said. “We will have extra people out to help with safety, but motorists need to be extra cautious of children out around town.”

If safety is a concern for some parents, there are alternatives to the public trick-or-treating activities.

Area churches and other organizations are currently making plans to hold family-friendly events to celebrate the changing of the season. Festivals are planned throughout the area beginning this evening and continuing through Nov. 14.

The First Assembly of God Church on South Main Street will kick-off events in the area beginning at 6 p.m. tonight. The 24th annual Fall Festival will be held with plenty of food and activities for the entire family. The event, billed as a Christian alternative to Halloween, will be attended by on-duty police officers to ensure safety. Activities planned include a Pepsi toss, hay ride, Screamin’ Boney, bingo, cake walk, dunkin’ booth, space walk, fish pond, basketball throw, water tick-tac-toe, duck pond, power jump and a sweet shop. Food to be available will include barbecue plates, catfish plates, cotton candy, funnel cakes, pizza and other items. Organizers ask that no scary masks or costumes such as vampires, Dracula, witches, devils, etc., be worn to the event. Casual dress is suitable for the event plan to last until 8 p.m.

Escambia County High School’s National Honor Society and Student Government Association will also host a fall carnival from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. There will be games, prizes, cakewalk and candy available. Children dressed in costumes get free candy at the door.

Tickets are $3 for 10 and additional tickets are .50 cents each. Proceeds to benefit projects of both organizations.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians Wellness and Activities Department will present a Haunted House event Thursday, Oct. 28, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. The Haunted House will also be open Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29 and 30, from 7 p.m. until. The event is located at the Wellness and Activities Department (Gym), 447 Lynn McGhee Dr. Admission is $3 per person. For more information, call Trina Rackard at 368-9136 ext. 2248.

If you need a little more “haunting” in your holiday the The Greater Escambia Council for the Arts is hosting a Haunted House this weekend as well. Carrie, Cujo, Chuckie, Blair, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Pennywise the Clown, Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Dracula, and more will be on hand to welcome visitors to the event. Guests should be on the lookout for vampires, ghosts, zombies, and witches that will be waiting for visitors Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29 and 30. The house will be open from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. for younger children and from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. for older children and adults. Admission is $5 at the door. The Greater Escambia Center for the Arts is located at the corner of Trammell Street and Highway 31 in the old Bateson’s Furniture building.

Unity Baptist Church on U.S. 31 past the Atmore Airport will host a Family Fall Festival on Oct. 30 from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. The free event will feature games, a cake walk, hay ride and space with food available as well. The event is open to the public.

On Oct. 30, McCullough Christian Center will host a Trunk or Treat event from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the facility. Candy will be provided and planned activities include a drink toss, jumpers, slides, nachos and cheese and cake walk for the adults. There will be no charge for food or activities at the event.

Atmore Nursing Care Center will hold a trick or treat event Oct. 30 at the East Laurel Street facility from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and are invited to visit with residents throughout the facility.

First Baptist Church of Atmore will hold their annual Trunk-or-Treat event on Oct. 30 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the church on South Main Street.

The Bratt Assembly of God will hold their annual Harvest Fest from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Oct. 30. Organizers say there will be plenty of activities for children and adults. There will be a tug-o-war, cakewalk, rim roll, hayride and many other activities. There is no charge for the festivities at the church located at 5150 Hwy. 4 West in Bratt.

The Mineola Baptist Church in Uriah will be holding a Harvest Festival and Chili Cook-off beginning at 4 p.m. on Nov. 6.

Organizers invite attendees of the event to come dressed in farm clothes to enjoy an evening of old-fashioned fun. Chili cook-off contestants are asked to have their chili at the judging area by 4:30 p.m.