Dress up like your favorite superhero, movie character, or villian and get free candy…what isn’t great about Halloween? While this is the mind set of many children who enjoy the holiday, parents have a few more concerns. Trick-or-treating is usually held at nighttime, and while the kids run from house to house the last thing on their minds is to look for traffic.
Several Elizabethtown area service organizations joined together to help solve this problem. The Elizabethtown Borough Police Department, Elizabethtown Area School District, Verteran of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and the Moose Lodge have banned together and purchased colorful glow sticks to be distributed to children. The glow sticks will be given to students in the Elizabethtown Area School District in grades k-5 during the week of October 27th. Children are to carry the glow sticks around with them while trick-or-treating to make them more visible to motorists and adults.
Elizabethtown Area Middle School art teacher, Cindy Telenko, thinks the glow sticks are a great idea. “There are not a lot of street lights in our area, so we always have to be careful when we take our kids out,” Telenko said. Telenko is the mother of four children, all of whom are students in the Elizabethtown Area School District.
She brings up another concern that parents have with their children going out on Halloween. “(My husband and I) take our 4 year old and 6 year old trick-or-treating but we leave the older ones at home. Once they hit 13, they just get into trouble,” said Telenko.
Sometimes referred to as “mischief night”, Halloween can be a time where kids try to pull pranks. Elizabethtown police are aware of this and try to make themselves more visable. “We have more officers out in the community, usually officers on bicycles,” said Officer Rick Farnsler, the Elizabethtown School District School Resource Officer. Telenko agrees that the police help to make Halloween safe. “Police patrol through different developments pretty often, and they stop to let the kids know they are there,” she said.
To help keep kids out of trouble on Halloween, Elizabethtown provides fun and safe activities. The Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation and Community Services group (GEARS) is hosting Haunted Grounds on Saturday, October 25 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. In Elizabethtown, and throughout Lancaster County, trick-or-treating will be held Friday, October 31 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
For more information on trick-or-treating rules and regulations contact the Lancaster Inter-Municple Committee at (717)-397-7507 or the Elizabethtown Borough at (717)-367-1700.
Reported by: Megan Angstadt, Elizabethtown College Student