Have a fun – and safe – Halloween

The Halloween season is upon us, which means that it's time for trick-or-treating, a haunted house and, of course, our largest parade of the year, the Vandalia Lions Club's Halloween parade.
It's a time to enjoy dressing up in costume, getting all kinds of Halloween treats and enjoying the seasonal decorations created by our local residents.
But, there are some safety issues that everyone needs to remember, particularly on the night of the parade.
As always, parents are reminded that their children should have costumes that allow them to both see freely and be seen. That means not having costumes that obscure their vision and making sure that they are bright and/or reflective, and that they aren't so long that a child may trip and fall.
For the parade, the tragic accident on the evening of last year's parade serves as a reminder that all of us need to pay attention to our surroundings.
That means looking for trains as we cross the tracks downtown, whether we are walking or are in a vehicle. Also, since we know that traffic will be heavy, plan to head downtown as early as possible. It's the last-minute rushing to find a parking spot and get down to Gallatin Street that can lead to an accident.
During the parade, participants are encouraged to drop candy directly in front of the crowds lining Gallatin Street, instead of throwing it from parade entries. That can help to prevent children running out into the middle of the street and into the path of parade vehicles.
Halloween is an enjoyable time of year; let's make an effort to make sure that it's also a safe one.
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