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Here come the Halloween haunts
• Wear a costume that makes it easier for you to walk, see and be seen.
• Select costumes, wigs, beards, etc., made of flame-retardant materials.
• Use makeup instead of a mask. A mask may keep you from seeking well.
• Plan your trick-or-treat route ahead of time.
• Pick well-lit streets, and ask a parent, older brother or sister to go with you.
• Tell your family on which streets you will be trick-or-treating.
• It's best to trick-or-treat when there is still light outside.
• If you must go at night, make sure that your costume is a light color.
• Carry a flashlight with you, so you can see and be seen easily.
• Cross streets only at corners. Never cross between parked cars or mid-block.
• If there are no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic.
• Drive extra slow in residential neighborhoods. Give your self time to stop or avoid a collision.
• Don't drive with a mask on. Masks will limit your visibility.
• Don't drink and drive. Designate a sober driver. Report drunk drivers.
There are many who want to take your blood tonight — and even more who want to take your candy.
The streets will be filled with vampires and the walking dead, princesses and cowboys and virtually every character from the hottest children's movies and television programs.
More than 41 million children are expected to go trick-or-treating nationally, and the children of Colusa County are eagerly among those.
Bodhi and Ace Glassgow have been in the Halloween spirit for a long time.
"Every pumpkin we get, they want to paint it," said Joell Glassgow, who showed off the two "angry" pumpkins on their Princeton porch: red for Bodhi, 6; blue for Ace, 5.
But this is not just a child's holiday anymore.
According to the National Retail Federation, 71.5 percent of all Americans, slightly more than seven of every 10, will celebrate Halloween in one fashion or another.
That forecast is up from 68.6 percent last year, the federation reported.
The holiday represents about $8 billion to retailers nationally, and surveys show that the average person is expected to spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year.
Only Christmas is a larger retail holiday.
"By the time Halloween rolls around each year, it's safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely loved holidays of the year," Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.
"Retailers know that when it comes to Halloween, new costume ideas for children, adults and pets, and the latest in home and yard décor top people's shopping lists. We expect retailers to stock their shelves well ahead of time to capture the attention of eager holiday shoppers."
Still uncertain, however, is the impact the storm battering the East Coast will have on the Halloween festivities, and with it the retail hit.
And Halloween is not the safest holiday, anyway.
The chances of a child being struck by a car is four times higher on Halloween than on any other night of the year, the American College of Emergency Physicians reports.
"Children should be out having fun and spending time with family and friends," said Dr. Andrew Sama, president of the physicians group. "They should not have to spend Halloween or any other night for that matter in the emergency department because of an injury that could have been easily prevented."
But beware, there are still those who want your blood.
BloodSource is partnering with McNary Moore Funeral Service for a blood drive from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. today.
"I learned about it from another funeral home and it has been very successful for them," said Verdo Werre, the manager of the funeral home, located at the corner of Main and Fifth streets in Colusa.
The need for blood grows as the holiday season nears.
BloodSource supports a number of regional medical facicilities, including Colusa Regional Medical Center.