City residents encouraged to have fun, be safe this Halloween

City residents will have the opportunity to enjoy the following Halloween events again this year:

Saturday, October 27: Old Town Winchester’s Spooktacular
Kicks off with a Pet Costume Parade at 11:00 a.m. and Trick-or-Treating from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on the Loudoun Street Mall.

Monday, October 29: Winchester Police and Fire & Rescue Department’s Trunk-or-Treat
Candy, games, prizes, face painting, fire truck and police cruiser displays, McGruff the Crime Dog and more at Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company (2210 Valor Drive).

Wednesday, October 31: City-wide Trick-or-Treating
Begins at dusk and ends at 8:00 p.m.

The Winchester Police Department encourages all residents to have fun but be safe when celebrating Halloween. Keep these tips in mind while enjoying the festivities.

Costumes should be:
Light colored or have reflective tape for increased visibility.
Flame-retardant so children aren’t in danger near candlelit jack-o-lanterns.
Appropriate length to prevent trips or falls.
Costumes should not:
Include ill-fitting masks. Makeup is encouraged as masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
Include fake or real weapons.

Trick-or-treaters should:
Be accompanied by an adult.
Carry a glow stick or flashlight.
Stay within a designated neighborhood that parents are familiar with.
Never enter a stranger’s house or car.
Watch for traffic.
Look both ways, and only cross at corners or crosswalks, not between parked cars.
Only accept wrapped or packaged candy.
Go only to houses with exterior lights turned on.
Stay away from open flames and know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.

Residents welcoming trick-or-treaters should:
Turn on your porch light, and remember to turn it off (recommended by 8:00 p.m.)
Move lit jack-o-lanterns off the porch as they could pose a safety risk to children.
Remove any objects from the yard that may present a hazard.
Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
Keep pets from chasing trick-or-treaters.

When decorating, remember to:
Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
Use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter when lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns.
Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn and out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
Keep highly flammable decorations like dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

When it comes to candy:
Throw away candy that is unwrapped or appears to have been opened.
Look for punctures or pinholes in the wrappers
Homemade items or baked goods should be discarded, unless you personally know who gave them to you – “when in doubt, throw it out.”
Chocolate in any amount is deadly to dogs. Be sure to keep all candy out of pets’ reach as candy wrappers will also obstruct animals’ digestive tracts.

Residents are reminded to drive cautiously and remain alert for children crossing streets and entering roadways. For residents over age 21 wishing to celebrate Halloween, please have a designated driver or call a cab/Uber/Lyft and do not attempt to drive after consuming alcohol.
Please contact the Winchester Police Department to report any suspicious activity.