GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Halloween, the holiday that creeps up mid-fall, is almost here, but before you grab the trick-or-treat bag, make sure to follow all of the garrison’s ground rules to stay safe.
U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria staff established official trick-or-treat hours of 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at the four military communities with housing areas: Tower Barracks, Rose Barracks, Hohenfels and Garmisch.
During the designated trick-or-treat hours, military police will patrol on-post housing areas as well as Netzaberg to ensure festivities proceed safely.
Community members are strongly encouraged to avoid driving in housing areas during these hours. If motorists do find themselves on the road, they are reminded to drive with extreme caution. Many Halloween costumes are dark in color and can be difficult to see. Additionally, children wearing Halloween masks may have limited field of vision.
Hundreds of military dependent children and local national children are expected to participate in the festivities throughout the leased and private housing areas.
The biggest challenge posed by garrison military police is tracking down or identifying lost children. Lt. Col. Mike Burden, director of the Directorate of Emergency Services, recommends that guardians pin family name and address inside their child’s costume.
Garrison officials recommend DOD parents escort children on trick-or-treat walks and restrict Halloween activities to military housing communities. An adult must accompany children under 12 years old at all times. Garrison officials encourage residents living in leased or economy housing to escort their children to the nearest military housing area to participate in trick or treat fun.
Children are also required to carry a flashlight, glow stick or battery-operated lantern while trick-or-treating. Flames and candles are not permitted. In addition, escorts are encouraged to wear light or reflective clothing and guide their trick-or-treaters to well-lit areas and homes.
Residents handing out Halloween treats should keep their porches or stairwell entrances well lit and free of obstacles. Residents in stairwells should plan to present candy at the stairwell entrances.
Safety tips for parents and children:
Questions concerning Halloween security? Contact the Directorate of Emergency Services in Grafenwoehr/Vilseck at 09662-83-3398, Hohenfels at 09472-83-2812 or Garmisch at 08821-750-3801.