Staying safe while trick or treating

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BLOUNT CO., Tenn. (WVLT) -- For kids, it's pretty simple. "I love, um, the candy," said 8-year-old Courtlyn Hill, who was dressed as a cheerleader.

When it comes to Trick or Treating, parents have the burden.

"You always have that concern being a parent, you just try to pick better neighborhoods," said Brad Hill. The Hills came to Maryville College for Safe Trick-or-Treat Wednesday.

The event has been held for 17 years, but it's popularity keeps growing in the community. "It's not the same as when we grew up, you know you could just go to about any body's house. It's not like that anymore," said Tanya McNamara, who brought her 3-year-old son Cale.

"This has definitely been a lot bigger than expected," said organizer Stephanie Barger, who serves on the activities coordination team for Carnagie Hall at Maryville College.

If safety is your concern, you may want to consider a controlled candy event.

"There are alternatives to setting your kids loose in the neighborhood. I know some of the area malls have trick or treating programs," said child advocate Hugh Nystrom.

Foothills Mall in Blount County will hold Trick or Treat from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Both Knoxville Center and West Town malls will have events beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday. Other events like Boo at the Zoo, or Halloween in the City (this year called Halloween on the Plaza) can fill your bag of treats as well.

"They are guaranteed to be safe, there's nothing that's going to put them in danger, and it's just a lot of time to have fun and activities," said Barger.

"This is definitely the safer and better thing for us to do, where you feel better about the whole idea," said McNamara.

If you are going to be out on the streets, be careful. "A lot of costumes are dark. Make sure that there is something glowing on there, because little ones get caught up, and they take out across the street without a second mind," said Hill.

For a full list of activities, click on the Hot Key.

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