A group of East Baltimore youths were in for a Halloween treat when Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Council President Bernard “Jack” Young spent the evening reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance during their 2013 Boo Bash.

Nearly 100 children appeared in costume at the Rita R. Church Community Center for the free bash.

“Halloween is a fun holiday, where you can just act silly,” Rawlings-Blake told the AFRO. “We want everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween.”

The three-hour event brought in ghouls, goblins, ghosts, and was organized by the city’s Recreation and Parks as part of the mayor’s initiative to keep kids safe during the night. Throughout the event, kids were able to enjoy creepy snacks, make spooky jewelry, play games, slim buckets and dance. Trick-or-Treat bags were given out with candy and safety tips.

Local resident Nisa McIntosh brought her four-month-old son Antwone Headspeth, who was dressed as a puppy.

“I wanted to stop by to see what was going on, so we could have a little bit of safe fun,” she said.

Communications Chief Malkia “Kia” McLeod said the city distributed 5,000 Halloween bags in addition to giving out safety tips at several community centers.

“We want kids to not just have fun, but have a safe and Happy Halloween,” she said. “The point is to keep kids safe.”

Last year, the city saw more than 3,500 Halloween-related injuries reported between October and November. Injuries included burns, lacerations from pumpkin carving and falls related to ill-fitting costumes.

“The safest place to spend Halloween is going to be at your local recreation center or special facility,” Recreation and Parks Director Ernest Burkeen said in statement.

This year, city residents saw an increased police presence within the neighborhoods to ensure Halloween safety.

“With an expected increase in foot traffic, we are also urging motorists to exercise extreme caution when driving on city and neighborhood streets,” police Commissioner Anthony Batts said in a statement.

As the night came to an end, children enjoyed a string of line dancing with the mayor and council president. Music was provided by Baltimore’s 92Q Jams, as they “Wobbled” the rest of the night away

“All the children were having fun…having something fun for the kids to do in a safe environment,” Young said. “It was a nice event.”

Blair Adams

AFRO Staff Writer