Halloween is here and so are all the spooky spectacles. The Arroyo Grande Village trick-or-treat event was back Monday after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
The event was put on by the Arroyo Grande Village Association and patrolled by the Arroyo Grande Police Department. From 3-6 p.m., the streets were blocked off so the little monsters could run rampant with no added threat of traffic.
Over 50 businesses participated in the community-wide Halloween event. Ninety percent of the businesses on Branch St. opened their doors to the trick-or-treaters and additional businesses from around the area set up in the street to hand out candy.
"I brought my kids out here today. I also work in the Village. This is something we really look forward to and we really missed it," said Schuylar Johnson, Arroyo Grande mom.
Johnson brought her kids to the event for five uninterrupted years before COVID-19 broke that streak. Two years later and they haven’t missed a beat. Her kids were excited to fill their pillowcases with candy once again.
Although the roads are blocked off in the Arroyo Grande Village, traffic is still flowing elsewhere.
"Please be aware, obviously, all the kids out trick-or-treating. They might be coming in between cars. You don’t know where they're coming from, so just an added level of awareness and slow the speeds down," said Commander Dave Culver, Arroyo Grande Police Department.
Whether you're haunting the streets by foot or by car, the Arroyo Grande Police Department has some tips for both.
Drivers: slow down and watch out for more foot traffic in residential neighborhoods. Take extra time looking for trick-or-treaters at intersections and entering/exiting driveways and never drive distracted or impaired.
Parents and trick-or-treaters: make sure costumes fit to prevent trips and falls. Decorate costumes and bags/buckets with reflective tape. Have kids use flashlights or glow sticks to make it easier for drivers to see them. Walk on sidewalks, when available. Avoid darting into the street or crossing between parked cars. Stick to familiar, well-lit routes. Look both ways before crossing the street and make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
With all the festivities going on this evening, it's important to remember the roadways are especially dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, the highest number of drunk driving-related fatalities were among adults ages 21-34.
During that same time, 11 pedestrians were killed. Arroyo Grande police will have heightened patrols Monday night from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., on the lookout for impaired driving.