The Valdosta Police Department has announced that the city’s annual trick-or-treating festivities will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 9 p.m. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Valdosta youth are a part of an estimated 41 million children—ages 5 to 14—across the United States who could potentially be out trick-or-treating this Halloween for an estimated $22 billion of chocolate and non-chocolate confectionary treats. Furthermore, firefighter and police officer costumes remain as two of the top picks for young trick-or-treaters. To ensure the traditional evening is both safe and enjoyable for our residents, extra police patrol will be scheduled during the scheduled trick-or-treating hours. The city also offers the following practical tips for residents and their young family members: Children should walk in pairs, and always stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, then they should walk on the edge of yards, and as a last resort on the edge of the road. Adults should accompany children, especially those under age 12. Children should wear reflective clothing. If a costume includes a mask, an adult should ensure that the mask does not restrict the child’s visibility. Adults should pin a slip of paper on their children with their child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket, in case he or she gets separated from the group. In addition to selecting a safe route with good lighting, children should also be equipped with glow sticks or flashlights with fresh batteries to increase visibility. Adults should inspect treats before children are allowed to eat them. Throw out unwrapped or unpackaged candy. Children who eat a meal before they trick-or-treat may be less likely to eat the candy before an adult can approve it. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs. Motorists should drive slowly and cautiously through residential neighborhoods. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. Parents who are driving and parking in or near neighborhoods should obey the “No Parking” signs and all curbs painted red or yellow that prohibit parking. They should also park safely well off the road shoulder of major roads, and be sure not to block the entrances to neighborhoods or private driveways. Trick or Treating activities should be fun for all. Let’s do our part to make it also safe for all. For more information, please contact VPD Patrol Commander Bernard Robinson at 229-293-3104.