PARKERSBURG - Halloween is fast rivaling Christmas in terms of decorating.
Designers at area craft shops say while treat-or-treat is for the kids, Halloween seems to be for the adults.
"You can spend $2 or hundreds of dollars," said Andrew Wells, floral designer at the Parkersburg Crafts 2000 store. "People love Halloween."
Photo by Pamela Brust
Pam Longwell, craft designer, and Andrew Wells, floral designer, at Crafts 2000 pose with some of the Halloween decor at the store.
Pam Longwell, craft designer at the shop, said there are all kinds of budget-friendly projects for Halloween.
"There are even inexpensive kits you can get that include the materials you need for the project plus the instructions, anyone can do them. They are fast and easy," she said, adding with a little creativity they can be changed slightly to make them more your own.
"You can use items you have at home and just add a few embellishments. Lost of people have Mason jars around, you can just add candy corn, ribbons, some decorations and turn it into a fun gift," Wells noted.
Did You Know?
Halloween is believed to have its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off spirits.
In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated Nov. 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs. The holiday, All Saints' Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows' Eve and later Halloween.
Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event complete with trick-or-treating.
Whether you just need a carved pumpkin, some mums and maybe a new Halloween-themed welcome mat for your porch or you are going all out for fright night, crafters say you don't have to spend a lot of money to make your house Halloween central; and remember, trees, wreaths and garland aren't just for Christmas anymore.
"There's everything from cute to goulish," Wells said, noting a lighted Halloween garland with a few embellishments.
A piece of burlap wrapped around a candle with some ribbon added can become a centerpiece. Some lollipops covered with cloth or decorated with ribbons can go from a table decoration to treats for a party or trick or treaters.
And to make sure those little tricksters are safe this Halloween, here are a few tips offered by the Parkersburg Police Department.
"The best option for trick or treating is large groups of people going together, being a combination of both responsible adults and children. The entire route should be pre-planned with everyone familiar with it," said Sgt. Greg Collins, with the Parkersburg Police Department. Collins said no candy collected during treat or treat should be eaten until it's been inspected by an adult.
"Adults should accompany young children to each and every door they approach. Teach children to never enter a home or vehicle, and only visit houses where lights are on, Collins suggested.
Costumes should be very visible, preferably reflective. Kids should be able to see and breathe properly, and parents should make sure the costume purchased is flame resistant.
"We highly recommend every child carry a flashlight or glow stick. Take the time to teach children to scream, fight, or otherwise draw attention to themselves if a stranger is trying to take them. Parents should talk about and practice this with children prior to going out," he said.
"We are asking the community to slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may do unpredictable things. Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances. Remember that costumes can limit children's visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle. Stay off your cellphone so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings," Collins said.
The police will have extra officers out during trick-or-treat to better protect the public.
"We will be strictly enforcing traffic laws and on constant watch for people who are looking to damage property or otherwise engage in criminal mischief," Collins said.