HARLINGEN — Downtown Harlingen and neighborhoods are prepared to see mini superheroes, villains, princesses and monsters looking for candy this evening.

Trick or treating is a popular practice done by children and their families but the Harlingen Police Department wants to remind parents to keep the fun activity safe.

“These kids are excited. This is a once a year thing where they get to dress up in costumes and run around the neighborhood and ask for candy from total strangers,” police Commander David Osborne said.

“So, it is recommended always having a responsible adult with them and making sure cars can see them and check their candy bags before they start eating their candy,” he said.

Osborne said candies must be properly wrapped before they are eaten and adults should watch out for those that are not.

Another safety guideline he mentioned was to only knock on doors at houses that appear to be participating in Halloween activities.

“Make sure kids can see properly from their masks and their outfits let them breathe and see. Plan to go out with the kids early in the daylight and make sure to have a time limit to get kids home safely,” Osborne said.

Downtown Fun

An alternative suggested by Osborne for trick or treaters is Halloween on Jackson Street Downtown from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Everyone is encouraged to bring their families and dress in their best costume. Most city departments and public officials will be out handing out candy to the kids,” Osborne said.

“Get there early and make sure to keep an eye on their children and have adults stay with them. We want to make sure it is a great experience for everyone and no kid gets lost,” he said.

Weather conditions are expected to be windy and in the low temperatures. Downtown Manager Ed Meza said guests should come prepared for the cold weather as well as being safe.

“Bring a comfortable coat or a costume that will protect kids from the cold. We attract around 8,000 people so it should be warm with all the people around,” Meza said.

According to Meza, the event has been going on for years but moved to Downtown Harlingen since 2016.

“The first year we had it crowds were about 4,000 and the second it doubled,” he said.

The city closes streets from Commerce Street to 4th Street and the allies on both sides of Jackson Street.

“We have about 60 or 70 vendors giving out candy. We have a parade of costumes, music and all kinds of food. It is a wonderful time for Harlingen and the trick or treaters,” Meza said.

Safety Tips

– Walk safely, cross streets at corners and use traffic signals and crosswalks.

– Trick or treat with an adult. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone without adult supervision.

– Always have parents check treats and candy before they are eaten.

– Do not go to a house that is not well lit and looks as if it is not participating in trick or treating.

– Make sure masks are put on properly and children are able to breathe.

– Go early to a trick or treating event to make sure it is not too dark for childrent.