Halloween happens in Hilliard from 6-8 p.m. tonight (Oct. 28), but hurrying doesn't help the hobgoblins and superheroes who hope to receive handouts of hard candy and chocolates from households.

Halloween happens in Hilliard from 6-8 p.m. tonight (Oct. 28), but hurrying doesn't help the hobgoblins and superheroes who hope to receive handouts of hard candy and chocolates from households.

"One of the things that I find is (people say), 'It's on a Thursday night, so I'm trying to rush home from work, and get my kid ready,' " said Hilliard Police Department spokesperson Hyda Slone. "That's what we don't want. Trick or treat is two hours long. If you're 45 minutes late, they still get to trick or treat. Try not to rush and hurry. Watching out for those kids and keeping them safe, that's the most important thing."

The HPD recently issued Halloween safety tips on Nixle.com:

Be sure older children take friends and younger children are accompanied by a trusted adult.

2. Accompany younger children to the door of every home they approach and make sure parents and guardians are familiar with every home and all people from which the children receive treats.

3. Teach children to never enter a home without prior permission from their parents or guardians.

4. Teach children to never approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

5. Make sure all children wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or glow stick when out at dusk and night.

6. Make sure all children are able to see and breathe properly and easily when using facial masks. All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant.

7. Teach children to never approach a home that is not well lit.

8. Teach children to stay alert for any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents, guardians, and/or proper authority.

9. Teach children if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell "this person is not my mom/dad"; and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and resisting.

10. Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in school, or at the community center as a good alternative to trick or treating.

Among those alternatives is "trunk or treating," in which costumed children collect candy from the trunks of decorated cars. One of the local churches holding a trunk or treat from 6-8 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 30) is Warehouse 839, 3691 Main Street. The cars in the church's parking lot will form a path for kids to follow.

Craig Hay, a leader of the church's youth outreach team, said this is the third year the church is doing the trunk or treat.

"We wanted to have a safer place for kids," Hay said. "In the parking lot, we can monitor the traffic. Most of the people who are decorating their cars are individuals from our church, so we know who's handing out the candy."

Some people may wonder why Hilliard is holding Halloween tonight, when the actual holiday is on Sunday. Hilliard, like many central Ohio communities, follows the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission's recommendations on the holiday.

"If the 31st falls on a Monday-Thursday, then we'll actually do it on the 31st," said Beth Simon, recreation supervisor, Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department. "If it ever falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, then it always reverts back to the Thursday before Halloween, and we do follow (MORPC's) suggestion."

Simon said Friday night football games and various weekend activities are why Halloweens are held from Monday-Thursday in Hilliard. Because of that, the department has recently begun holding a fall festival a few weekends before Halloween with a trick or treat trail for the kids.