Elizabethtown recommends you don’t go trick-or-treating this year

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — We’re officially in spooky season, but for one local town Halloween is going to look a little different this year.

Elizabethtown is asking its residents to hold off on some of the traditional Halloween activities due to COVID-19.

Citing safety concerns, town leaders are asking people not to go door-to-door and trick-or-treat this October 31.

“We don’t want the kids to not have a good Halloween, but we also know we have to be careful in this time, We’d like to see our cases go down,” Elizabethtown Director of Communications and Marketing Terri Dennison said.

At a town council meeting Monday night, leaders put together some Halloween guidelines based off the CDC guidelines. View them here.

“I would encourage not to,”Kevin Lewis, who lives in the area, said. “I don’t think it’s a very safe environment. I would definitely say no. It’s a dangerous move. It’s a very serious thing.”

Some people in town agree with the guidelines, saying it’s not worth the risk this year. Some also say it’s up to the parents.

“I think it’s up to the parents,” DJ Meshaw, who lives in the area, said. “At this point, everyone knows the risk, so if you’re a parent and you put your kids at risk, that’s your decision. Me personally, I wouldn’t do it.”

Dennison says it’s just too risky this year and they’d like to see the number of cases in the county go down.

“The CDC considers such activities to be high risk,” Mayor Sylvia Campbell said. “We encourage you to stay safe in however you choose to celebrate and hopefully next year we can return to tradition.”

She says they are still encouraging low-risk activities and events this year.

“You know, having parties within your own family, maybe having a movie night, doing a scavenger hunt through your neighborhood where you’re not going up to your neighbors’ doors, but you’re looking for things, hints. having the kids look for bats or ghosts. something like that,” Dennison said.

She says they’ll be putting the guidelines out to residents and are asking people to not hold trick-or-treating or other high-risk events.

“I would limit it as much as possible If i have any event, it would be at home,” Lewis said. “Play it safe.”

Here are some of the types of activities the town is suggesting:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

“I don’t plan to turn my light on for the kids to come to the house, because I want to stay as safe as possible,” Meshaw said. “But that’s really up to the parents to make that decision.”

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Dennison says the Christmas parade and “buy local” market won’t be happening this year, but they’re working on several alternative safe events for the season.

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