However, she said some form of holiday activities are warranted to raise morale.
“There’s a mental health perspective,” Arnold said. “So much has been canceled this year, and I think that really weighs on people, so we want people to find a way to enjoy the holiday. We believe people can do it in a safe way.”
While the city is discouraging events that lead to large gatherings, Arnold said many community members are finding creative solutions. She said some residents are creating homemade candy chutes to get candy to children who trick-or-treat, while some neighborhoods are setting up trick-or-treat time slots for age groups to lessen the number of people on the streets at once.
201016-Atlanta-Heath Hall, left, and Ben Ku aren’t sure how many trick-or-treaters they will get this year at their Tucker home, so they built a chute to deliver candy while keeping socially distanced on Halloween. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Credit: Ben Gray
Credit: Ben Gray
Avondale Estates, which usually prides itself on large Halloween events, has taken a stricter approach by canceling trick-or-treating and dissuading its residents from participating. The only event the city kept is its Halloween Spirit Award contest, which is being judged virtually.
“It stinks,” Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore previously said. “We are not endorsing or condoning Halloween activities. We do not want it to be a super-spreader event. We just want to keep people safe.”
Doraville, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain and other cities have shifted gears and are using vehicle-focused events to promote social distancing. The cities are having their own version of a truck-or-treat event, which features a drive-thru where candy is handed out directly to people in their cars. The CDC also lists these type of events as a higher-risk activity.
“The goal is to give parents and children an alternative so they don’t feel the need to go out and knock on people’s doors,” Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman said, describing his city’s drive-thru event. “By announcing that the city is also accepting donations of candy, we’re also giving residents who want to give out treats a way to participate in Halloween without having to open their door for multiple groups of children.”
Dunwoody’s “Halloween Spooktacular Drive-Thru” is a joint event between the city and its police department. It’s a replacement for the city’s typical Halloween celebration on the last Thursday of October, which is also Dunwoody’s final “Food Truck Thursday," Dunwoody Recreation Supervisor Rachel Waldron said.
“There was no way to do that safely,” she said. “We didn’t want to limit what is normally a huge event, so we decided that we’ll do what we can, put it in a car and be safe.”
For those who plan to go door-to-door or attend a truck-or-treat event, the CDC recommends everyone involved wear a mask, maximize their time outdoors and stay socially distanced. Instead of handing candy directly to children, the CDC advises that candy stations and individually bagged treats limit contact.
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