It's not every day that parents allow their children to accept candy from strangers, much less strangers dressed as clowns, ice cream cones, jailbirds and even Angry Birds.
But several exceptions were made Saturday in Naperville.
More than 1,300 children, dressed in equally spooky costumes, paraded through Naperville's Safety Town Saturday, participating in the 17th annual Trick or Treat at Safety Town event sponsored by the Naperville Junior Woman's Club.
Club member and event chairwoman Meredith Sonetz said the group has opened the facility to children 10 and under to allow them to show off their costumes and provide some trick or treat practice.
"The children get a great safety refresher from a police officer and then we let them into Safety Town to practice what they learned," Sonetz said. "And if they practice good trick-or-treating, they get tons of candy from all of our community partners."
Families were asked to donate $1 per child to Safety Town and a can of food to Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry.
Teen and adult volunteers manned the 30 miniature Safety Town buildings, giving out glow sticks, gift certificates and candy in all shapes and sizes.
Seven-year-old Alice Kensington bagged more than her fair share of candy, but her mom, Sharon, said Alice was more excited to wear her "pop star diva" costume before Halloween.
"Alice loves an audience so the more people that see her costume the better," Kensington said. "So she picked up some safety reminders today about watching both ways when crossing and stranger dangers and she got an extra day's wear out of her costume. It's a win-win."
Other parents appreciated the safety reminders.
"We can tell them til we're blue in the face to look both ways, not eat opened candy and everything else," said parent Mark Fitzsimmons, who was with his two children. "But it's nice that they hear it from an officer, too."
The woman's club's next Safety Town fundraiser, a Ladies' Night Out shopping event, is scheduled from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at Naperville's Hotel Arista.