Halloween is back at a DC fall festival with police as a special guest

After a muted 2020 holiday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween is back in one Northeast D.C. neighborhood, and the city’s police stopped by to help celebrate.

Every year the Village of Dakota Crossing in the Fort Lincoln area of D.C. celebrates Halloween by bringing neighbors together for a fall festival. You’ll also see about a half dozen officers from D.C. police — also known as the Metropolitan Police Department, or MPD — mingling in the neighborhood, sharing candy and cupcakes and watching sack races and costume contests.

“I enjoy Halloween — so I thought, what better way to celebrate than to have all of our neighbors celebrating together and to welcome the MPD with us,” said fall festival organizer and costumed cop Kelly Benson, who invited the real D.C. police. “I really appreciate what our MPD officers do for us. And I want our neighbors and my own family to be able to get to know all of them and say hello so that we can feel like this is home. We’re all family looking out for one another.”

The yearly event at the neighborhood playground and park had Little Mermaids, Batmen and even a very young Colonel Sanders, who enjoyed petting zoos, sack races and eating candy and cupcakes from local bakery Bake & Bash.

“This is a wonderful community to support. They love us and we love them and we wanted to come and bring some Halloween treats (their hot chocolate bombs are to die for),” said baker Shekha Bradley.

Miniature Spider-men, princesses and even a full-grown Captain Marvel enjoyed racing through obstacle courses and decorating pumpkins which was a stark difference from last year.

“Well, through the pandemic, children are the ones that suffered the most, they’re not used to being isolated,” said Benson. “This year it’s incredible to see all of the families being able to come out and see one another again, and to enjoy each other’s company and see the children and how much they’ve grown and just have that sense of family.”

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