TUSKEGEE, Ala. (November 1, 2012) — Volunteers from Tuskegee University helped to
play host to hundreds of costumed schoolchildren and their families Wednesday at Tuskegee City Park Field. For the second year, the university was a partner in the Healthy Harvest Halloween Festival, a community-wide event for the City of Tuskegee and surrounding cities in Macon County, Alabama. The festival offers families and children a safe alternative for Halloween night and the event’s partners work to promote positive images as well as provide information about health and civic responsibility.
“We wanted to get away from the tradition of ghouls and goblins and put a positive spin on it. And promote voting and other things,” said Jacqueline Brooks, Macon County Schools superintendent about the festival’s goals.
The festival featured several activities for Trick-or-Treaters, young and old, including: singing contests, line dancing, games, a burger grilling competition, hay rides, inflatable bounce houses and a pet costume contest. Although there were plenty of sweet treats available for the crowds of children, the university manned several booths about a variety of health topics such as breast cancer checks, weight management, blood pressure and nutrition.
Rueben Warren, director of the university’s National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, said the most important health aspect of the event was offering a safe alternative for children. He said parents have much to worry about with traditional Halloween outings such as unsafe candy or violent encounters.
“One of the major killers of our children is violence… This night it’s safe. Public Health 101 is safety,” Warren said.
Warren also said the event was a time for unity in the City of Tuskegee and Macon County. Along with the university, the other event partners were the Macon County Board of Education Health Services, Lessons 4 Life Programs, and the Tuskegee Ministerial Council.
“It’s a place where you lose your individuality and become a community collective. So, we’re here and we’re family,” Warren said.