NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Halloween typically kicks off the holiday season in the fall, but like many things this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to think outside the box when it comes to celebrating.
One man is doing just that, and getting creative to keep some of the Halloween traditions alive this year.
“A whole year ago I never would’ve imagined this,” Kevin Cooper, who lives in New Hanover County, said. “I mean, it goes back to when I was a kid,” he said. “Halloween was always a big deal, so just trying to give children a little bit of normalcy.”
In the year of 2020, normalcy has been hard to come by. That’s why Cooper is trying a new approach to trick-or-treating this year to keep children safe.
Cooper saw some photos of creative trick-or-treating setups people were designing, and he started coming up with some ideas of his own. He decided to create a candy chute and new safety precautions for trick-or-treaters at his house on Hollybriar Drive near between Pine Valley and Monkey Junction.
“Right now, what’s done so far is, we can see hear we have a chute or a pipe to drop the candy down,” Cooper said. “At the end of that pipe, there’s going to be a basket to catch the candy, so it doesn’t just slide out and hit the ground. Then all the candy is going to be probably four or five pieces in a bag.”
Cooper says there will also be an entrance sign at the start of the walkway, and a doorbell by the bottom of the chute so people aren’t walking up and down the front steps.
“Right beside that, I’m going to have a stool where I’m going to set a bottle of disinfectant on, just so they can clean their hands,” he said.
Once everyone has gotten their candy, Cooper says there’s an exit path, so kids aren’t bumping into each other on their way in and out.
“You don’t have to be packed in and breathing in each other’s face,” he said. “You just come, collect your candy, go on your way. Just enjoy being with your children for a little while.”
With several kids of his own, Cooper says he was determined to keep the tradition alive.
“Even when stuff is tough, there are just some things you need to persevere on, and keep going, and don’t stop,” Cooper said. “To me, this was one of them.”
With just the finishing touches left to do, Cooper hopes his creation will still make the night special for children and their families.
“Them being able to be kids and enjoy being a kid, even though all of what’s going on is going on,” he said.