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Double the Halloween fun

Trick-or-treaters are expected to be out in full force this weekend if weather cooperates, although those numbers have seemed to dwindle the past few years because of other organized events the little ones can enjoy indoors.

That's a good thing.

Each year local entities are looking for safe, fun activities that can be held in a controlled setting as an alternative so kids don't have to feel compelled to trek out on their traditional Halloween journey collecting candy and treats door-to-door.

This year, the West Fargo Park District and West Fargo VFW are providing a safe haven a few days earlier than usual with their annual Spooktacular Party set to take place tonight (Thursday, Oct. 29) instead of on Halloween Eve, Saturday, in an effort to spread the holiday out so the excitement connected with it can last a little bit longer.

The two local entities have cosponsored this event for several years and are committed to continuing the tradition, which is typically a very well attended event.

Having the party early will hopefully provide double the fun and give the little ones the opportunity to take in the several other planned events set for Saturday, without having to miss out on anything.

It will also provide all the little ghosts, goblins and princesses the chance to act out their favorite Halloween characters by wearing that costume one more time. On that note, those attending are encouraged to don their masks or costumes as they take in all the happenings.

The party will run from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Arena, conveniently located adjacent to West Fargo High School, at 1201 7th Ave. E.

Kids of all ages are invited to take part in the fun, which will include walking through a haunted maze, playing bingo, a Halloween cookie and cupcake walk, enjoying refreshments, and visiting with the not-so-scary witch and more.

VFW officials will be coordinating the cookie and cupcake walk and bingo, with the winners of the walk receiving an individual frosted, decorated cookie. Bingo prizes will include gift certificates from other West Fargo businesses - McDonald's, the Dairy Queen and Sandy's Donuts; with blackout prizes including an individual pizza, bowling coupon, or a candy bouquet.

On another holiday related note, Fill the Dome organizers are also planning a Halloween event a day early on Friday, Oct. 30, and want West Fargo and other local residents to be aware.

Members of the group will be out 'trick-or-canning' for food donations and want individuals to be prepared with their donations which will ultimately help "fill the dome" with foodstuffs to stock area food pantries that will help feed the less fortunate.

So be prepared if any of these 'trick or canners' ring your doorbell. The more you can donate, the quicker area food needs will be filled.

If you are not going to be home, but would like to be part of the giving, you can buy a bag of food for $10 at any Hornbacher's location that will be donated to the cause.

Other areas of our readership may also see other groups out there door-to-door collecting for worthy causes. If you do, welcome them with your donation.

As with all Halloween events, safety should always be factored into the experience.

We encourage everyone out there trick-or-treating either in advance of Halloween or on Saturday night to exercise due caution to make for a safe evening of fun.

Extra safety precautions are warranted when children are walking around neighborhoods, and especially in crossing streets, where vehicles are sure to be a part of the mix.

Sight visibility should be unencumbered and young children should always be accompanied by adults, no matter what the situation.

A little bit of extra care will ensure a safe, happy Halloween that will be a memorable one for all the little trick-or-treaters out there.