Halloween will be cold and possibly rainy this year, but El Campo offers plenty of ways for spooky-day fans to celebrate indoors or outdoors this Thursday.

Rain-proof alternatives to traditional candy gathering, trunk-or-treat events, will be held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church at 512 Tegner Street and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Civic Center main hall at 2350 N Mechanic Street.

The Civic Center trunk-or-treat is sponsored by the El Campo Police Department, and will include Finding Nemo and Hocus Pocus displays, or similar themes.

Almost 1,000 kids attended last year’s event. ECPD plans to add features that should allow lines to flow faster this year, according to Administrative Assistant Tammy Rome.

“Our trunk-or-treat has become more popular, and it seems to be a one-stop shop now for a lot of parents with smaller kids and even the older kids like it too,” Assistant Chief of Police Gary Williamson said.

The Wharton County Electric Cooperative will give free hot dogs and chips via drive-through to trick-or-treaters that day at 1815 E. Jackson Street.

The El Campo Bowling Center at 806 West Loop will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, and workers may even dress up, Manager Abby Freeman said.

Other family-friendly Halloween events around town include the second annual Haunted Salon at the Hair by Amanda Jane Salon at 103 W. Church Street, where visitors receive treats after walking through, according to a social media post.

Guiltless sugar-consumption and creative costumes are integral aspects of Halloween, but should never come at the cost of safety. Williamson’s safety tips for costumes including ensuring masks do not obstruct the wearer’s vision and clothing is fire resistant and reflective.

An adult should remain with young children at all times. If older children are unaccompanied, they should plan a route and a curfew with their parents, according to Williamson. He recommended only trick-or-treating at friend’s and family’s houses or at the ECPD’s Trunk-or-treat.

“Don’t eat the candy until you get home and your parents had time to inspect it to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with,” Williamson said.

He recommended carrying flashlights or glow sticks while trick-or-treating, and teaching children to never enter strangers’ cars or homes.

Motorists should slow down in neighborhoods and be wary of children crossing the street, according to Williamson.

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