Pumpkin party promotes safety (with photos)

By Michelle Costanza

October 25, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 12:09 AM EDT

Port Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) With trick-or-treating just around the corner, the Broome County Sheriff's Office offered an extra layer of safety for some local children on Friday night.

Around 300 local children gathered with their families at Port Dickinson Community Park to take part in the ninth annual pumpkin carving party.

Children were invited to pick a pumpkin from the patch and select stencils and tools to personalize their jack-o-lantern.

"It's more than just the pumpkins. We have the Sheriff's Office set up for Operation Safe Child for fingerprinting as well. We hope to get as many children as possible, it's just an additional safety measure," explained Tonya Spence, General Manager of Chase and Demarco Funeral Homes.

The event offered pizza, donuts and cider while children lined up for games. Plus, big bowl of candy ensured that all goodie bags were full for the ride home.

Jungle animals, fairies, ninjas, and even Dorothy and Toto participated in a costume parade and warmed their hands at the bonfire to conclude the chilly evening of early spooks.

All pumpkins and refreshments were donated by Wm. R. Chase & Son and M. David Demarco Funeral Homes. Organizers said this year's event was successful with the added help from the Civic Associations of Port Dickinson and Chenango Bridge.