As Halloween draws near, thoughts of bags stuffed to the brim with sugary treats are probably already on the minds of children across Clark and Champaign counties.
Beggar’s Night, the candy-hunting holiday born from Halloween, is arguably the most highly anticipated event of the year for the young — and young at heart — who look forward to dressing up as their favorite characters and getting tons of free candy from complete strangers.
This year, Clark County will have Beggar’s Night on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. Champaign County’s Beggar’s Night will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Halloween itself, Tuesday, Oct. 31. The village of Saint Paris in Champaign County will be having their Beggar’s Night on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Consumers spent $8.4 billion on candy, costumes and other holiday-related items in 2016, according to a National Retail Federation report, breaking the all-time record. This year, retailers expect another record-shattering year, with Halloween purchases topping more than $9.1 billion. About $2.7 billion alone is expected to be spent on tasty treats for trick-or-treaters.
So what can you do to stay safe as you and your mini-monster head out to get your hands — or claws — on your fair share of all those goodies? Experts from Safe Kids Worldwide offer a few tips to keep you safe on the streets.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up. Walk, don’t run, across streets.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers. If possible, choose light colors.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn on your headlights earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
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