Halloween is getting to be a big deal around Havelock.


Halloween is getting to be a big deal around Havelock.



The city police department will sponsor Operation Safe Halloween from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.



Itís the fourth time the event has been held, and the second time the department is asking for a can of food as admission. Last year, more than 900 cans were collected, but this year the goal is 1,350. All will be donated to the Havelock Ministerial Associationís Community Outreach food pantry.



The first 400 children that bring in a second can of food will get a free lunch box purchased through a $2,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.



This yearís event promises another massive candy giveaway along with the traditional costume contest. Additions to the event this year include a pumpkin-carving contest in which participants will bring in their carved pumpkins from home, a band and a dunking booth. Two large flat-screen televisions will also be given away.



"Itís a lot bigger than anything weíve done before," said Havelock Police Detective Chris Morning. "The first three years have been great, and this year we said weíre really going to step it up and do it even better."



The costume contest will be broken into four age categories, 0 to 3, 4 to 7, 8 to 11 and 12 to 14. The top three in each category will win prizes, while the grand prize winner will receive a 40-inch HD television.



Registration for the costume contest begins at 2 p.m. with judging set for 2:45 p.m.



This year, a pumpkin carving contest has been added with one entry per family. Participants will carve their pumpkin at home and bring the finished jack-o-lantern to the contest.



"Thatís something new that we incorporated this year," Morning said. "Usually we have just done a costume contest with some other games, so this year we decided to bring families into the event as well, so we decided to do a pumpkin carving contest," Morning said.



Grand prize for the pumpkin contest will be another 40-inch HD television.



City department heads provided donations for the televisions and other prizes.



Morning said adults are encouraged to dress up along with the children, but costumes that are sexually inappropriate or gang affiliated are discouraged.



Police officers will man a dunking booth, and the band Minefield Theory will provide music.



Along with door prizes, candy donated by area businesses, residents and city workers will be given out.



Morning said the event is not meant to replace Halloween, which is Wednesday, but offer a safe alternative over the weekend when parents wonít be rushed like on a school night.



"Itís just a way not just for the police department but for the city to show support to the community and just to give the kids a safe environment to come and have some fun in a safe environment, get some candy and show off your costumes," Morning said.



For more information, call the Havelock Police Department at 447-3212.