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Treat Street the new normal on Halloween

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Thinking back to her childhood, Kristin Heath remembers trick or treating from door to door every Halloween.  That may not be how her two young girls remember the holiday.

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“In a way, trick or treating is a lost art,” said Heath, a Killdeer resident. “That’s how we used to do it as kids, but things are a little different these days.”

Because of a number of reasons — including safety and convenience — Heath said she will be taking her two daughters, ages 6 and 4, to the annual “Treat Street” indoor trick or treating event at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson.

A combination candy handout, haunted house and carnival — the latter put on by the Dickinson Parks and Recreation Department — the free event seems to grow in popularity each year.

While shopping for her 2-year-old son Tylen’s Halloween costume Monday at the Prairie Hills Mall, new Dickinson resident Shelly Burnett said she plans to attend Treat Street because her family doesn’t know many people in town and wouldn’t feel comfortable trick or treating door-to-door.

“We just moved here from Illinois,” Burnett said. “Something like Treat Street just seems like the best way to go. You don’t have to worry about the weather and the cold and you can get it all done in one stop. I come from a town of 1,100, so we all just went trick or treating in town. But it’s different in a bigger place — especially when you don’t really know anyone.”

Dickinson Police Captain Dave Wilkie said there are a few basic rules for parents and kids to follow when out and about on Halloween, but that he doesn’t expect anything unusual for Thursday.

“We encourage people to wear light clothing and carry a glow stick with them,” Wilkie said. “Of course, kids should go with a parent and should wait until they get home to eat their candy, just to see exactly what they have. It’s usually best to stay away from the homemade stuff and make sure you’re getting factory-sealed items. Just don’t get too crazy out there.”

In addition to Treat Street, another pre-arraigned option for parents and trick or treaters is the “Malloween” event Thursday at Prairie Hills Mall, where kids can dress up and receive candy from different stores in the mall. Malloween runs from 5- 7 p.m. while Treat Street takes place from 4-7 p.m. Halloween night.

Boo Hawks, a Halloween treat street event at Dickinson State University’s May Hall, is being held from 3-5 p.m.

“Treat Street is pretty safe, but it would also be a great opportunity for someone to steal a kid, so we encourage parents to always keep an eye on things,” Wilkie said. “There are a lot of new people in town these days, so you just want to make sure you’re being safe. For motorists, we want people to remember to go slow because there will be kids all over the place.”

Wilkie added that it’s also a good idea to stay in your own neighborhood while trick or treating and to be in well-lit areas.

Children should also know cellphone and home telephone numbers, know how to call 911 in an emergency, stay in groups while trick or treating and never approach a vehicle, according to a Halloween tip sheet provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

In an effort to make sure her children don’t miss out on all aspects of the traditional Halloween experience, Heath said she plans to take her girls trick or treating to a handful of houses in Dickinson in addition to Treat Street, meaning 4-year-old Aspen will get a few additional opportunities to show off her “human Ariel” The Little Mermaid costume.

“We’ll go to a few houses,” Heath said. “I want them to experience a little bit of what we used to do as kids.”

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Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
(701) 456-1207
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