Last year, some 50,000 Halloween masqueraders descended upon the intersection of Wisconsin and M streets NW to walk around, check the bar scene, live out fantasies and escape from the everyday routine.

And among the pleasure seekers, there were those with more tricks on their mind than treats.

"We locked up 34 people for disorderly conduct, 11 for robbery and a small number for drunk driving," says Metropolitan Police spokesman Lt. William White III.

Police intend to pay at least as much attention to Georgetown this year as the crowds continue to grow.

One of the main problems occurs as the 50,000-plus pedestrians, with a limited amount of sidewalk space, compete with cars for the streets.

"On Oct. 31, the streets will be open to vehicular traffic, and we will only close them off if necessary for the welfare and protection of the general public," White says.

Police also will be on the lookout for public drinking. "If you are seen drinking alcohol," White says, "you will be arrested."

Police advise against wearing expensive gold chains or jewelery and carrying large amounts of cash. "There were a limited number of situations last year where people wearing gold chains had them snatched from their necks," says White. "We don't want to give anyone in the area with criminal intent an opportunity to prey on citizens."

Choose a safe, comfortable costume that doesn't restrict your vision. "Some masks may obstruct vision, so you might consider eyeliner or other makeup instead," White says. "And long costumes or high heel shoes are unsafe when climbing stairs or crossing streets."

Have fun. Relax. Enjoy the show.