How the year flew by. It is time once again when thousands of our children don costumes and masquerade in honor of the old Halloween tradition of trick or treat.

REGION - How the year flew by. It is time once again when thousands of our children don costumes and masquerade in honor of the old Halloween tradition of trick or treat. Adults of course often get in the act too. Communities across the region plan special events, from parades to parties. Safety warnings are issued annually, reminding us all of good practices to keep what is supposed to be a fun time from turning foul.

This story serves to list in one place several of the public events being sponsored by communities or nonprofit organizations, and to offer ideas for a safe and sane October 31st.

This goes as well for the nights leading up to the 31st, as some get a head-start on the festivities.

By no means limited to these areas, our travels for this Halloween story will first take us along Route 6, from Carbondale, PA to Port Jervis, NJ. We better watch out along our way! On night of the 31st our fair streets and byways have a way of turning up some of the most interesting and frightening characters, in the spirit of good fun.

Note: Not every event listed here is happening on the 31st, so take note of the date.

CARBONDALE

2018 marks the first year in at least 25 years that the City of Carbondale has had a Halloween parade, Michele Bannon said.

Bannon, who is clerk at the City Hall as well as president of the Greater Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, said the event is being sponsored by Carbondale Pioneer Nights, a separate, non-profit organization.

The parade steps off at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 27, from the lineup point at the PNC bank parking lot at 8th and Main. The parade heads up Main past the YMCA, and ends at the intersection with Church Street.

She said the idea is to “get people to enjoy the downtown.”

Businesses across town are handing out candy to the kids from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

The YMCA will be open, with activities.

Safety is being promoted, and the parents should be walking with their children when trick or treating during this season. People are expected to “follow the unwritten rule” to be respectful of others and limit truck or treating to no later than 8 or 8:30 p.m. Otherwise, she said, the City does not impose any limitation.

Carbondale Police, she said, will be “very visible.”

Bannon said that Carbondale Pioneer Nights hosted a very successful St. Patrick’s Day parade this year, and they want to build on that momentum. Carbondale Pioneer Nights is completely volunteer.

Anyone wishing to participate in the October 27 parade should call Bannon at 570-282-4633 or email mbannon@icontech.com.

WAYMART

Waymart Area Parties in the Park hosts a Halloween party for area children each year. Lillian Rollison said that the event is scheduled Wednesday, October 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Waymart’s Wayside Park. The park is on Belmont Avenue at the corner with South Street.

Rollison chairs Waymart Area Parties in the Park as well as serves as president of Borough Council. Waymart Area Parties in the Park is a nonprofit organization, separate from the borough government.

The party in the park, she explained, is meant to gather the children and their parents in one area. In the meantime, incidents are kept down and safety is encouraged.

She said the borough has not had any Halloween “incidents” since the park event began. This is the eighth annual Halloween party.

During the party, enjoy free hot dogs and donated baked goods. The Salvation Army at Ladore Lodge sets up a canteen for hot chocolate and coffee.

Rollison said that last year, 800 hot dogs were given away. Normally, only one goes to a customer.

There’s also a D.J. and a Halloween costume contest. Trophies are given to the kids for different categories (Scariest, Cutest, Most Original).

Lots of volunteers make the party possible. They are not necessarily from the borough. Lew Henshaw and Jim Labar, supervisors from Canaan Township, cook the hot dogs. Jim’s wife Donna also helps, Rollison said.

“I think the party is a well appreciated event,” Rollison said. Parties in the Park plans a variety of events throughout the year. She said this comes about through the efforts of people who are “very dedicated.”

While the Halloween party is free, a donation jug to benefit Waymart Area Parties in the Park is available.

The 1st annual scarecrow contest is underway, and the public is invited to vote online at www.waymartpa.us. Vote through October 31. The winner will be announced at 7 p.m. at the park. Businesses were asked to create the scarecrows, which are located throughout the park.

Council limits trick or treating to the 31st.  There is a curfew on the books in which minors under the age of 18 not accompanied by an adult are not to be out, past 10 p.m. Waymart Police will be on patrol. The borough is a busy place on Halloween. She said, “The streets are plugged.”

HONESDALE

The Honesdale Area Jaycees’ annual Halloween Parade is a long-standing tradition, dating back more than 40 years. This is a large parade, lasting about one hour, and is held on Tuesday, October 30. If it rains the event is rescheduled to November 1st.

Lineup is at 6 p.m. Floats leave from the Top Notch parking lot off 4th Street, located near where the railroad tracks cross; marching groups assemble at St. Mary’s parking lot on lower Main. The parade steps off at 7 p.m. and heads NORTH on Main. (Contrary to the one-way traffic rule that sends regular traffic SOUTH on Main when the Halloween party isn’t happening!) The parade turns at 10th Street and ends at Central Park.

Jason Natinovich, president of the Jaycees, said that he expects the parade will be a little bigger than before, given the added number of applications they received.

He said they have a lot of different floats. “Some go all out,” he said.

First, second and third prizes are awarded to groups for their floats. Former Jaycee presidents serve as the judges. Plaques are given out, and winners’ names are listed in the newspaper.

Honesdale’s parade includes school bands from Wayne Highlands, Western Wayne and Wallenpaupack school districts.

Keeping safety in mind, he said that people marching with the floats are instructed to hand out their candy, rather than have it thrown from the float. The public has to stay behind saw horses. Each float must have four spotters. Security will be on hand.

Natinovich noted that they have a lot of volunteers from both the Jaycees and Boy Scouts from Troop 1.

Donuts and cider follows the parade in the park for anyone to enjoy. Refreshments are free, Natinovich said.

“We appreciate the public and families who come out,” Natinovich said.

Honesdale Council has limited trick or treating to October 31st from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

HAWLEY

Hawley’s annual Halloween Parade is held Wednesday, October 31. Lineup is at 5 p.m. on Church Street near Hotel Belvidire. The parade begins at 5:45 p.m. and heads up Main Avenue, arriving at Bingham Park for the borough’s Halloween party. The public is welcome.

Andrea Racht, Borough Treasurer, said that anyone who wish to enter a float should call the borough office at 570-226-9545. People wearing costumes while watching the parade from the sidewalks, are welcome to just join in the parade at the end and walk to the park, she said.

Costume judging takes place at the tennis courts. Free refreshments will be provided by the borough.

Volunteers in Paupack, a Wallenpaupack Area High School student group, stuffed the candy bags the borough gives out at the park.

MILFORD

Although no community-hosted Halloween activities take place in Milford, there’s plenty of trick or treating.

Pam Alhstrand, Borough Secretary, said that the council limits trick or treating from 3 to 8 p.m., on October 31. There is a curfew in effect at 8 p.m. when any minor out in public must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

“We ask that patents park and walk with their children,” Alhstrand said. “There is plenty of parking available. We get thousands of kids, since we are so accessible.”

Milford Borough Police will be out in force. Alhstrand said that officers will likely be seen out on foot.

Children, and the public in general, are encouraged to be careful crossing the streets. “Parents need to be with their kids,” Alhstrand stressed.

Trick or treating in Hawley Borough is allowed from 4 to 8:30 p.m., October 31.

MATAMORAS

Kelly Weber, Matamoras Borough Secretary, said that trick or treating is restricted to 4 to 8 p.m. on October 31st.

Matamoras Fire Department is hosting a “trunk or treat” for the public on Sunday, October 28, 2 to 4 p.m. Be sure to call 570-491-4154 to reserve a space to give put candy from the back of your vehicle, or from a table you may bring to set up.

Decorate your truck or truck bed to make it festive. Please arrive at 1 p.m. to set up.

The fire department is located at 506 Avenue Q. For more information call 570-491-4154 or visit their Facebook page.

PORT JERVIS

The 70th annual Halloween Parade in Port Jervis, NY, takes place Saturday afternoon, October 27. Lineup is at 3 p.m. on Hammond Street, near City Hall. The parade steps off at 3:30 p.m. and ends at Farnum Park. Prizes will be awarded at the park by the Elks Club. Free refreshments will be available from Port Jervis Recreation Commission.

Children, adults and pets (on leashes) are welcome to join the parade.

The rain date is October 28.

This year’s sponsor is Tri-State Radio, WDLC.

MORE EVENTS

[Editor’s note: There may be other events in the area as well. Public event calendar listings are always welcome. Send them to dosomething@wayneindependent.com.]

• LACKAWAXEN -  The 3rd annual Lackawaxen Neighborhood Pumpkins in the Park is planned Saturday, October 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Veterans Memorial Park, Lackawaxen village. Admission is free. Live music, pumpkin decorating, a “trunk ’n treat” and other kids’ activities are planned. Food will be for sale. Earn a prize for the best costume and the best trunk decoration.

Bring a new or gently used coat to donate to the coat drive. Youth sizes are especially needed.

A rain date of Sunday, October 28 has been set.

If you are interested in providing a trunk, contact Michelle Thompson at Shellster@LTIS.net.

LAKEWOOD - Northern Wayne Community Library hosts the Annual Trunk or Treat at the library, October 31, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Activities include a family photo booth, guessing games, clown balloon artist making twisted balloon treats for the children, cider and donuts (sponsored by the American Legion) and the “haunted library.” Treating from car to car will be begin at 6:30 p.m. Rock Lake Inc/Shursky Family is hosting this year’s party.

MILFORD - “A Night With Poe” is scheduled at the Historic Theater at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Saturday, October 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. Age 13 and up are allowed. Tickets cost $20. For information call 570-296-9625.

MOSCOW - Trick or treaters are welcome at the Milford Borough building where treats will be passed out starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 31. Borough Hall is located at 123 Van Brunt Street.

TAFTON - A Halloween Fundraiser Party is being hosted by Settlers Hospitality and three others. The event is set for Saturday, October 27th at The Dock on Lake Wallenpaupack at 5 p.m. The party will benefit Pennies from Heaven, Caleb's Foundation. A costume contest will be held with categories including Scariest Costume, Best Couple, Most Original, and Best Group.

 KEEPING SAFE AT HALLOWEEN

While parading around like a ghoul or goblin, fairy princess or little cowboy, collecting goodies and playing games, various sources warn of safety risks connected with Halloween.

According to Allyson Fullton, M.Ed., Assistant Director of the American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division (ATSPA), “Halloween is a fun holiday for children, but it can ultimately be worrisome for parents. From picking out the perfect costume to planning out a safe trick-or-treat route, individuals need to be reminded that safety is always the number one priority.”

Sad Kids Worldwide noted that 73% of children go trick or treating door to door; 89% of kids participate in Halloween.

Fullton stated, “According to the AAP [American Academy of Pediatrics], pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween. Remember to stay in groups, remain on well-lit streets, and always use the sidewalk.”

The American Red Cross and the American Academy of Pediatrics are among organizations that have issued safety tips for the Halloween season. These include:

Pumpkin carving:

Never allow a small child to carve a pumpkin.

Use a flashlight or glow stick to light the pumpkin rather than a candle.

Pumpkins using lit candles should be placed on a study surface, away from flammable objects. Never leave a lit pumpkin unattended.

For trick or treaters:

Use only flame-resistant costumes.

Be sure their shoes fit well and that the costumes are not so long the ciidl may trip, become entangled or in contact with a flame.

A parent or responsible guardian should accompany young children. Have a route already planned.

Be are that trick or treaters can see if they are wearing a mask, and are carrying a working flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and tick or treat bags. Choose light colored costumes and coats. Instead of a mask, use non-toxic face paint as an safer alternative.

If older children are going alone, plan and review a route that is acceptable to the parent or guardian. Agree on a time they should return home.

Be careful around dogs and other animals.

Only visit homes where a porch light is on. Accept treats at the door but never go inside.

Walk only on the sidewalks and not in the street. If there is no sidewalk, keep to the edge of the road and face traffic. Look both ways before crossing a street, and cross at the corner. Avoid using alleys; don’t cross between parked cars and do not cut across yards.

Be sure that a grown up looks over the goodies before eating any. Throw out any items with unfamiliar brand names or if there is any question.

Welcoming kids on Halloween:

Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps.

Clear your yard or porch of tripping hazards.

Restrain your pets.

Light the area well so they can see.

Drive with extra caution. Youngsters trick or treating may be excited and forget to watch.