Haunts, trick-or-treating events are planned

Saturday, October 29, 2016

SIKESTON -- Organized hayrides, bonfires, haunts and trick-or-treating provide ample opportunities for local youngsters to have a happy Halloween this year.

For those who like to add a little spook to their festivities, the Benton Chamber of Commerce will once again present Basement of Horror haunted house from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. today, Saturday and Monday at the Community Building in Benton. Admission is $7 and all proceeds go to helping the community, schools and churches.

The ninth annual New Madrid Ghost Tours scheduled for tonight have been sold out for nearly two weeks now. The popular tours visit four historic and haunted locations along with a team of paranormal investigators in New Madrid.

Weather-permitting, a hayride and marshmallow roast will take place beginning at 6 p.m. today at the Marston Community Center on Mitchell Street.

A costume contest is planned, and a $25 gift certificate will be awarded for costume winners ages 0-12. There will also be hot dogs. The event is presented by the Marston Entertainment Group, and everything is free of charge.

For those who may want to get a little exercise before filling their bags with candy, the the Seventh Annual Bootheel Counseling Services Goblin Gallop 5K/1-Mile Fun Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Bootheel Counseling Services in Sikeston. Participants should wear their Halloween costumes.

A pet and children's costume contest will be from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Orscheln Farm and Home in Sikeston. Children ages infant to 12 years can participate. Admission is free.

At least two major candy-filled events are planned on Halloween in the Sikeston area.

The annual "Hallow Bash" at the YMCA of Southeast Missouri will be outdoors from 5-7 p.m. Monday on the north field. If it rains, the event will be indoors as its had to do the last couple years, according to Brandy Mason, member and program experience director for the YMCA.

Mason said this year's event will include candy, games and fun.

"We have businesses, organizations and churches who will participate with us again this year and we welcome everyone to come out to have a safe and positive environment that our children enjoy," Mason said.

Last year an estimated 1,500 to 1,600 people came through the Hallow Bash, Mason said.

"We're excited the community supports the event," she said.

Over 500 pounds of candy is given out each year at the annual Community Safe Halloween Trick-or-Treating Event at the Sikeston Outlet Stores. The event, which is in its 21st year, will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

"We hope everyone will make plans to come out Halloween night to enjoy a safe trick-or-treating experience," said Kyla Evans, marketing manager of Sikeston Outlet Stores.

Several churches have organized trunk-or-treats in the area on Halloween.

Blodgett churches are invited to join the Heartland Harvest Church for a Halloween gathering from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday at the Blodgett City Park. Children can take part in "trunk-or-treat," and anyone who would like to participate should bring a "decorated trunk" with candy for the children. Also there will be games, bonfires and hot chocolate for all.

Hunter-Memorial Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Allen and Wakefield, in Sikeston will sponsor a trunk-or-treat from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the church.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1010 N. Main St., in Sikeston. will host a trunk-or-treat event from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday at the church.

While many of the smaller towns leave trick-or-treating times to the discretion of their residents, others have curfews or designated time periods for trick-or-treating.

For example, Portageville has designated 5-8 p.m. as trick-or-treating times for its costumed youngsters.

In Charleston, trick-or-treating must be completed by 7 p.m. Monday.

By city ordinance, trick or treating ends at 9 p.m. in New Madrid, according to the city's website.

There is no curfew for trick-or-treaters on Halloween in Sikeston or Miner; however, Capt. Jim McMillen with Sikeston Public Safety and Miner Police Chief Chris Griggs encourage trick-or-treaters to be off the streets by 9 p.m. on Halloween.

Griggs, who said officers will be visible on Halloween, also offered some safety tips for the holiday.

"Make sure you're seen by vehicles and other motorists," Griggs said. "Be with someone at all times and be aware of your surroundings."

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