City Offers Safe Trick-or-Treating Options for Kids

In celebration of Halloween, the Walker-Ford Community Center is hosting “CarnEVIL” today.

Don’t be fooled by the name, because the event is meant to be a fun night for kids.

For more than 30 years, the center has hosted “CarnEVIL” for kids in the Tallahassee area to have a safe place to go trick-or-treating. It was created as an outlet for kids in the community who can’t go outside their neighborhood or door-to-door for candy. Safe Kids Worldwide, a non-profit organization advocating children’s safety, conducted a poll of parents’ Halloween-related fears.

Their findings found widespread concern, with nearly 77 percent expressing one or more specific concerns like traffic accidents and poisoning from tampered treats.

“We want all kids to come out and have a fun time. We don’t want them or their parents to worry about safety or crime, so we are excited and preparing for a big turnout,” said Aeshah McQueen, assistant

supervisor at Walker-Ford.

There will be two shifts available throughout the day. From 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bond Elementary and daycares in the surrounding neighborhood are looking to bring the younger kids to have their first

trick-or-treat experience.

The evening event is from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., where middle school-aged and older kids can attend.

The staff is expecting at least 500 kids for just the morning shift. That night, they are expecting about 200 kids. Volunteers are needed to work both shifts, especially in the morning.

McQueen said they also need candy donations, so the kids can have plenty to take home.

The event will have staff dressed in costumes, carnival games and a walk through “haunted house” area.

“Each year the event expands and gets better. Our supervisor is retiring after 30 years of service,” said McQueen. “We are going out with a bang, building mazes and adding more rooms toward the back of the center. We want the CarnEVIL to be top notch before he leaves.”

Kids can dress up in their most creative costume for a chance to win prizes. To volunteer, make donations or for more information, call the Walker-Ford Community center at (850) 891-3970.