Locals will have plenty of opportunity to celebrate Halloween beginning this weekend, as both Manchester and Lakehurst have family-friendly events ready.
Trick or treating in both municipalities is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 31. In Manchester, children can visit homes from noon to 9 p.m., while Lakehurst will enforce a 9 p.m. curfew for children under 16 years old, and a 10 p.m. curfew for those ages 16-18.
The township will hold its Hayride and and Trick or Trunk on Friday, Oct. 28, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at .
For a $2 donation that goes toward the township's Municipal Alliance, attendees can take a hayride and afterwards trick or treat from the decorated vehicle trunks in the school parking lot. A $50 cash prize will be awarded for the best trunk. A rain date of Saturday, Oct. 29, has been set.
Lakehurst will hold its Halloween parade on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. through the downtown. Residents are asked to line up at the U.S. Post Office on Brown Avenue at 10:45 a.m., said borough clerk Bernadette Dugan. The parade will proceed up Union Avenue to Lake Horicon Park, where participants will be judged and refreshments will be served.
"There are first, second and third prizes awarded in the following categories: prettiest, funniest, scariest, and best group or duo," Dugan said.
While celebrating Halloween, Manchester Police Department advises parents to ensure that their children wear costumes that are "bright and reflective," are the proper size to avoid tripping and do not obstruct vision, among other precautions:
- Children 12 and under should be accompanied by an adult.
- Plan your route and share it with family members.
- Carry a flashlight so you can be seen by others.
- If possible, stay in groups and walk on sidewalks. If no sidewalk is available, use the farthest edge of the roadway.
- Look both ways before crossing the street and try to cross only at corners. Do not hide or cross between parked cars.
- Only trick-or-treat in well known neighborhoods and at homes that have a porch light on.
- Never enter a strange car or home to accept a treat. Be cautious of animals and strangers.
- Never eat unwrapped foods items or open beverages. Have an adult inspect treats before eating.
- Notify police immediately of any sign of suspicious or illegal activity.
If you can't make it out to the above festivities, Halloween events are also scheduled in nearby municipalities:
- Toms River Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 will present its 74th annual Halloween parade at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, through the township's downtown.
- The Fourth Annual Pumpkin Patch at Jackson's Crossing, 21 S. Hope Chapel Rd., runs Satuday, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pumpkin picking, face painting, hayrides and more will be on-hand.
- Laurita Winery in New Egypt will host its HalloWINE event from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. Ben Weiner will perform at the free costume party. Call 732-758-8000 for more information.
- The Robert J. Novins Planetarium at the Ocean County College in Toms River will have a "Fright Light" laser show at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. Call 732-255-0342 for more information.