Annual Safe Treats in Old Colorado City proves amiable Halloween haven
Halloween historically touches on the “dark” side - and in painful fact, a New York terror attack had killed eight people earlier Oct. 31 - but Lori Kasten, organizer of Old Colorado City's annual Safe Treats, saw only joy at her event later that day.
“There were good feelings all around,” she said afterward. “I walked along the avenue and handed out candy. Everyone was super nice and the weather cooperated.”
The roughly three-hour afternoon event featured the usual hundreds of costumed kids along Colorado Avenue, mainly between 24th and 27th streets, perhaps as many as 2,000 in all. Merchants, many of them in costume, stationed themselves in front of their stores, genially handing out candy.
Safe Treats, an all-volunteer promotion that's supported by donations, bolstered the festive tradition with displays and activities in the Old Town Plaza at Colorado and 25th Street. These included the Coronado High robotics team, 800 helium balloons and mascots Sparky (the fire dog), the Armadillo (Texas Roadhouse) and Smokey the Bear.
In addition, with the help of about 20 Coronado High students, Safe Treats volunteers set up crossing guards at intersections and candy stations in various otherwise-open locations, such as in front of parking lots or shops whose owners decided to close for the afternoon.
Kasten shared an observation from the event. A little boy was walking along the avenue dressed as a firefighter. A local fire truck pulled up next to him, and an actual firefighter got out to greet the boy. The firefighter “got down to his level and gave him candy,” Kasten said. “It was super-cute.”
She was also happy about the police response (especially after the New York tragedy). As part of the costs of Safe Treats, she budgets to have two police officers on foot during the event. But she said she counted six officers in all.
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