Livingston-Tangipahoa community photo gallery for Nov. 6, 2014 _lowres

Photo provided by EMMA JAMES -- Library hosts Halloween decorating event -- Mary Thornhill paints polka dots on her pumpkin Oct. 9 at the Albany-Springfield Branch of the Livingston Parish Library’s Paint Your Own Pumpkin class. Class participants painted their own pumpkins with library craft supplies using pre-fabricated stencils or their own designs.

Livingston Parish will celebrate Halloween a little differently this year, thanks to the August flooding.

“I know many families are longing for a sense of normalcy that this tradition can provide,” Parish President Layton Ricks said. “Some subdivisions will not be able to participate. That is reality right now in Livingston Parish. But there are many areas that will be able to welcome families and want to welcome families on Oct. 31.”

In addition to the usual reminders about wearing reflective costumes, carrying flashlights and supervising children, Sheriff Jason Ard also asked residents to be aware of some flood-related safety concerns.

Homes may be unoccupied or a work-in-progress, he said. Debris may line roadways, making walking on the shoulders or sidewalks difficult or impossible in some areas.

Some sex offenders also may be displaced due to the flooding, Ard said, noting that he is working with the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office to track offenders.

“During Halloween festivities, the safety of you and your children are my greatest concern,” Ard said. “That’s why I’m putting more uniformed deputies on the roadways Halloween night. We know some areas are still rebuilding. We know some debris still remains on roadsides. A number of our deputies are going through all of this as well, yet they remain committed to Livingston Parish. We ask that you — once again — work with us in providing a safe environment for those who wish to take part in trick-or-treating or private parties scheduled for Oct. 31.”

Parish Councilman R.C. “Bubba” Harris said families who want another option besides taking their children house-to-house are invited to two Denham Springs recreational areas — North Park and South Park — for a fun night of Trunk-or-Treat instead.

The two parks will host the family-friendly event at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 31 — the same hours set by parish ordinance for trick-or-treating.

Jimmy Purvis, chairman of Parks and Recreation District No. 3, which owns the two parks, will coordinate the events.

“South Park is easy because it’s circular, but we haven’t nailed down a spot yet at North Park,” Purvis told the Parish Council on Oct. 13. “We’ll try to do it around the walking trail. Either way, we can accommodate it.”

In Walker, city officials said the heavily inundated areas of Pendarvis Lane, Bryan Park Drive and Magnolia Drive will be closed to the public during trick-or-treating hours.

Private gatherings and trick-or-treating among residents of those areas are acceptable, officials said in a news release, but the areas will be closed to the public from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 31.

Follow Heidi Kinchen on Twitter, @HeidiRKinchen.