For the fifth year in a row, businesses along Franklin’s Main Street are working to make Halloween a little less scary for children with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. But kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun since most candy is off-limits.
Main Street businesses are teaming up with Safe Kids Macon County to “Go Teal” this Halloween to create a fun trick or treating experience for kids in the community who experience food sensitivity.
“We are so blessed to live in a town centered around community and inclusion,” said Safe Kids Macon County Coordinator Sergeant Nick Lofthouse “Businesses in Macon County have supported this event for the last five years and even with the pandemic, wanted to continue providing an opportunity for safe trick or treating for children with food sensitivities. Safe Kids is geared around keeping children safe, and having this option in our community a great way to do that.”
The Teal Pumpkin Project is an international initiative geared toward making sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act: offering non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy.
More than a dozen Main Street businesses and organizations have committed to providing non-candy treats for trick or treaters on Saturday, October 31 from 3 to 4 p.m. The Franklin Main Street Heritage Association has an entire day of events planned downtown — keeping in mind all CDC health and safety regulations surrounding COVID19. In addition to the Teal Pumpkin Project trick or treating, there will be live music, activities, crafts, and of course, great shopping all day long downtown. While the Teal Pumpkin Trick or Treating is designated for 3-4 pm and will be exclusively non-food treats for trick or treaters, main street businesses will be switching to candy treats for the kiddos beginning at 4 p.m.
Businesses participating in this year’s Teal Pumpkin Project will have a sign in the storefront displaying a teal pumpkin, making the public aware they are a safe stop for treats. Businesses dedicated to going teal on Halloween are Outdoor 76, Mossy Rock, Books Unlimited, Blush Boutique NC, Crabtree General Store, The Dusty Pallet, Ruby City Gems & Minerals, Silver Threads, and Golden Needles, Motor Company Grill, Scottish Tartans Museum, Kitchen Sink, Inc, Uptown Gallery, Rust & Relics, and Happy Holidays Balloon Party & Christmas Shop.
The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by an awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) and launched as a national campaign by FARE in 2014. FARE thanks FACET for their ongoing partnership as we work to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion, and community.
Homes in the Franklin community participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project will have a teal pumpkin in front of their homes to let parents know they have non-candy treats available as well.