Set for scares
Residents prepare for Halloween celebrations

COVINGTON - Little goblins and ghosts will be filling the streets Friday, collecting treats and maybe causing a scare or two, all part of the Halloween celebration. For those looking for a place to take the kids for a safe, fun time, there are plenty of events in Newton and Rockdale counties.

Trunk or Treat on the Yellow Brick Square will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in downtown Covington.

Hosted by First Baptist Church of Covington and numerous other local churches, the event will offer plenty of candy and entertainment.

Church members will decorate their vehicles and fill their trunks with candy for the little ones to collect.

"It's like trick-or-treating from door to door, except it's actually in their trunk," said Kristen Bean, children's director for First Baptist Church.

A few small games, an animal balloon maker and a magician will keep both kids and adults entertained. Children can also register for door prizes and a grand prize giveaway for a new bicycle. Free drinks and popcorn will be provided.

Parents can feel safe, with local police expected to be on patrol.

Last year, about 2,000 people attended, Bean said, and organizers are hoping the event will continue to grow in popularity.

"I thought it would be an awesome outreach. If we did it in our parking lot, nobody would know about it," she said.

The theme for this year's event is The Wizard of Oz, though cars will be decorated in a variety of styles. Bean said she expects at least 45 to 50 cars to line the Square.

Streets around and one block off the Square will be closed. Parking is available in the parking deck next to the Newton County Administration Building and in the City of Covington's public parking lot next to the Lofts on Church Street and the Judicial Center Parking lot. There is also a public lot at the corner of Pace and Usher streets.

Main Street Covington and the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce will also offer trick-or-treating at the Covington Welcome Center at 2101 Clark St., where public restrooms will be available.

Trunk-or-treat events and fall festivals will also take place at several local churches.

East Newton Baptist Church, located at 11290 U.S. Highway 278, will hold a festival from 6 to

7:30 p.m. that will include hayrides, games and candy.

Oxford Baptist Church, located at 305 N. Emory St., will also hold a festival from 7 to 9 p.m. featuring inflatables, games and snacks.

A Hallelujah Festival will take place at Greater Love Baptist Church at 5325 Ga. Highway 81 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and at Zion Baptist Church, located at 7037 Ga. Highway 212 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Trunk-or-treat events will take place at 6 p.m. at Oasis Faith Baptist Church, located at 2504 U.S. Highway 278; from 6 to 8 p.m. at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church at 803 Whatcoat St. in Oxford; from 6 to 9 p.m. at CrossRoads Baptist Church at 227 County Road 229 in Social Circle; and from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Paul AME Church at 3134 Stone Mountain St.

In Rockdale County, the biggest trick or treat activities will be in Olde Town Conyers. The area attracts a large number of celebrants every year, not just for the candy but the elaborate decorations residents put out for Halloween.

The fun begins with the annual Family Fun Night from 6 to 8 p.m. at Conyers First United Methodist Church, located at 921 N. Main St. The church will have moonwalks, games, a hot dog dinner and a trunk n' treat.

Conyers officials have opted again this year to limit traffic in Olde Town during peak trick-or-treating hours. Through traffic on Main Street, from Peek Street to College Avenue will be restricted from 5 to 9 p.m. College Avenue from Main Street to Milstead Avenue will also be closed.

Also, several local churches throughout the county will offer alternative events for Halloween.

One of the largest Halloween events returns after a two-year hiatus at the Victory Tabernacle located at 1151 Flat Shoals Road. The festival will run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and include live music, 11 giant inflatables, smaller inflatables for toddlers and other activities. A food court will be available, according to Barbie Oberkrom, an event volunteer at the church.

Springfield Baptist Church at Old Salem and McCalla roads will hold a "Harvest Blessing" festival from 7 to 9 p.m. inside the church's activity center for children and toddlers through 13 years old. Springfield Children's Pastor Lucas Woods said the event will have the traditional games and a trunk n' treat, but organizers plan to recognize God's blessing.

"It will be food, fun and fellowship, and I really want to push the fellowship," Woods said. "We want it to where children will meet other children and hopefully build new friendships."

Smyrna Presbyterian Church will have a family fun night from 6 to 8 p.m. on the church grounds, located on Ga. Highway 212, north of the Ga. Highway 138 intersection.

Church secretary Lana Alexander said there will be a trunk n' treat, food and amusements for the family. A cake walk is also planned.

"It's an alternative for the kids to have a fun night, and a safe alternative for parents," Alexander said.

Heritage Hills Baptist Church, located at Ga. 212 and Smyrna Road will also hold truck n' treat event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with food provided by Chick-fil-A. Andy Futch, activities and family life minister, said the church will hold a drawing for a door prize but stick to the basics with inflatable games and a trunk n' treat.

"It's pretty simple, but we plan to have a lot of fun," Futch said.

Staff Reporter Jay Jones contributed to this story.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.