Safety Street new venue big hit

Vanya Gerber, a 4-year-old pirate, didn't waste much time once inside the fire station used for Friday's Trick or Treat Safety Street. He gripped the plastic sword strapped to his waist and plundered the booty of many booths.

"It's mine," he said, pointing to his growing pot of candy.

Mother Liz Gerber said she preferred Safety Street to wandering the neighborhood.

"I don't want to take him on the streets," she said.

The event, in its 15th year, was held in the Douglas County Engine Co. station in downtown Minden. Normally in the CVIC Hall, the event was moved to accommodate early voting.

"Obviously voting is important," said Douglas County Sheriff's Youth Services Officer Chris Griffith. "But we will be back there next year."

The sheriff's office organizes the event, and both Griffith and Sheriff Ron Pierini were impressed with the two dozen booths businesses had set up and decorated despite the change of venue.

"The businesses make this possible," Pierini said. "It's a different environment, but it still looks good to me. It's a neat building."

One parent was especially proud of the venue.

"This is where I work," said Gardnerville resident and Battalion Chief Scott Fraser, pointing to his uniform hanging behind a glass case. "I love this event. I come every year."

Fraser's 7-year-old daughter, Jenna, was dressed as a vampire.

"They give a lot of candy," she said.

Sharkey's Casino, Walmart and Bently Biofuels were just a few of the businesses participating. Best booth went to Carson Valley Medical Center. Carson Valley Inn took second place, and Pet Sitters Plus took third.

Whatever their decorations, each business came loaded with candy.

"We brought 28 five-pound bags," said Rhonda Ferguson of Sharkey's Casino.

By 3:30 p.m., a line outside the fire station stretched all the way back to Minden Park.

Hundreds of kids and parents braved the rowdy wind to wait their turn.

"You get here, and it's really fun," said 7-year-old Dracula Reece Ackerson. "Everyone gets to dress up."

It was 4-year-old Kylie Pitts' first Safety Street. Her family just moved to the Valley from Las Vegas.

"I'm having fun," Kylie said, who was dressed up as Cinderella. "I like the Snickers."

But it wasn't all vampires and princesses. There were some new-school costumes, some Spider-Mans, Iron Mans and Transformers.

"I dressed up as a Transformer because I like them," said 7-year-old Gabe Woods, sporting a sleek robot mask. "And I like all the candy."

Safety Street was started in 1993 by Record-Courier Publisher Tim Huether. The sheriff's office eventually took over the event. Proceeds go to Drug Awareness Resistance Training, Gang Resistance Education and Training and Fighting Chance for all fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders in the county.


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