Neptune challenges traditional methods of trick-or-treating

By Dana Netzel

A number of DeKalb school children will trick- or-treat and play games in Neptune residence halls at 6:30 p.m. today as part of Neptune’s Halloween Fun Fest.

The Halloween Fun Fest committee sent 1,500 fliers to kindergarten through fourth grade DeKalb school children informing them of the “safe and fun alternative” to traditional trick-or-treating, said co-coordinator Andrea Loeb.

Neptune Hall residents were given paper pumpkins to put on their doors if they wanted to participate in handing out candy. For safety measures, two escorts will accompany a group of children through the residence halls and knock on the doors with the pumpkins. The candy then will be checked by the escorts to confirm that it is wrapped or is a tasteful gift, Loeb said.

There also will be a game room for children with games like “Hot Pumpkin,” a variation of “Hot Potato,” Neptune West resident Ann Martin said. “Prizes will be given to all participants and not for competition,” said co-coordinator David Haslett.

Children must be accompanied by an adult to participate in the event and parents are encouraged to go through the hall or in the game room with their kids. However, a room will be set up for parents with coffee, cookies and a movie, Loeb said.

Children will not be allowed to eat the candy until the parents inspect it, but cupcakes and candy from the committee will be available for the kids.

At least 52 people have volunteered to work on the escort and games committee and about 70 to 80 percent of the residents are buying candy, Loeb said. “We’re hoping that at least 300 kids” will participate, she said.

A number of phone calls from excited and very enthused parents have been received, because it is a safe alternative to the traditional Halloween activities, Haslett said. It is also, a “good way to reach out to community,” he said.