‘Protect Our Neighbors’ initiative presents logistical challenges for annual Halloween event
Special to the Craig Press
Following a Friday meeting, Trick-or-Treat Street organizers continue to seek a viable solution to holding the annual downtown Halloween event amid COVID-19 restrictions.
Kandee Dilldine from the Downtown Business Association said the “Protect Our Neighbors” initiative, which allows local public health agencies to impose site-specific closures and enforce public health orders to help contain any possible surges of the virus, could prompt organizers to perhaps split the event into two days rather than holding it exclusively on Oct. 31.
The statewide health order allows for no more than 500 people to attend a site-specific event at one time, Dilldine said. The annual festivity usually closes off the 500 block of Yampa Avenue as it attracts a mix of almost 2,000 adults and kids trick-or-treating from storefront to storefront.
The number of people estimated to attend is so substantial, in fact, Dilldine said her and her daughter usually reserve two days leading up to the event to bake 1,500 cookies alone to hand out to trick-or-treaters.
“It’s really kind of hard to figure out which businesses want to do it on what day,” she said of the possibility of stretching the event over two days. “We will finalize a plan on (Oct. 14) so we can get it out to everyone.”
Dilldine said organizers planned to address issues such as how to best direct foot traffic, how downtown businesses can properly and safely hand out goodies as well as the possibility of extending the originally scheduled event by an hour.
“Everyone is going counterclockwise and that’s kind of the accepted practice,” Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume said in an interview before Friday’s meeting. “But then you have those fishes that are going to swim upstream.”
Trick-or-treaters are allowed to physically enter downtown storefronts. For this year’s Trick-or-Treat Street, however, regardless of the possible circumstances, storeowners will likely be required to stand outside their storefronts to hand out goodies, Dilldine said. In addition, the possibility of extending the event by an hour will perhaps thin crowds and keep people from rushing themselves.
“This is certainly an uber-conservative portion of the state,” Hume said. “With that, it’s a little different with how we operate.”
“But,” he later added, “how can we pull this off and still keep folks safe?”
If all else fails, Trunk-or-Treat, an event where local businesses as well as first responders decorate and showcase their most creative Halloween displays from the trunk of a vehicle, is still set to take place on Halloween day from 3-5 p.m. at Victory Motors, located at 2705 W First St. in Craig.
“We’ve invited businesses that are not on Yampa Street to come join us to decorate a trunk,” Darolyn Bangs, Trunk-or-Treat chairman and Victory Motors accountant, said. “We just want to give a safe location for the kids to go and have fun on trick-or-treat night.”
For more information, call 970-824-2151 or 970-824-7898.
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When you hear an unholy shriek or a cacophony of chest-pounding hundreds of feet high, you know you’re about to see something fantastic.