Halloween is Saturday. It’s an unusual year for trick-or-treat with a global pandemic impacting our activities.
But cancelling Halloween activities could affect mental health, according to medical experts, especially for children already anxious over the pandemic.
Airport High School in West Columbia conducted its annual recognition of Halloween with a drive-thru trick-or-treat Wednesday. The drive-thru is presented by Airport’s Student Government.
West Columbia Teacher Daniel Bailey said the school worked to keep the community tradition going this year despite COVID-19. He also said health and safety guidelines were added. More than 1,000 visitors were expected. “This school cares about our community,” Bailey said.
While school activities are an opportunity to acknowledge Halloween, there are also other options for families. Residents of the Saluda Gardens Neighborhood Association presented a Trunk-or-Treat.
The City of West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market invites the public to Trick-or-Treat with the vendors this Saturday, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Interactive Art Park, 425 Meeting Street. Each vendor will have a bucket of treats to pass out to children, including candy and take-home craft projects.
Old School Automotive & Tire is hosting a trunk-or-treat from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at 111 N. 12th Street in West Columbia.
Cayce West Columbia Dixie Youth Baseball is hosting a trunk or treat at West Columbia Wilson Howard Park behind Riverbank Elementary School Friday. It’s at 6:30 p.m.
You can host a neighborhood drive-by trick-or-treat by scheduling a car parade on your block. Have the Kids stay in their own yards while neighbors drive by and toss treats out of the car windows.
Camp out under the blue moon. There will be a full moon Saturday– It only occurs on that date once every 18 or 19 years. It’s also a “blue moon,” (the second full moon of the month.) It’s a great chance to camp in your backyard, and howl at the moon. But make sure you have a warm sleeping bag. The forecast calls for a temperature of 49 degrees in West Columbia Saturday night.
You can host a Halloween movie night on Oct. 31, or plan a marathon of Halloween-themed TV episodes. There are lots to choose from, but it’s important to make sure they are age appropriate.
Another idea is to make Halloween treats. Cookies shaped to look like witch hats and whipped cream with chocolate chip eyes that look like ghosts, the options are endless. The fun is spending time with your children creating memories.
Because of the need to combat the spread of COVID-19, there is the need to be careful.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines to help make Halloween safer.
The CDC points out indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. COVID spread risk is lower for an Indoor gathering with a good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors.
The CDC also said that gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings. So, don’t gather too long.
Gatherings with more people pose more of a risk than smaller gatherings.
The CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of people for Halloween gatherings. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability to limit close contact between guests.
The CDC said that local gatherings are likely better. Those who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than the people gathering, who live in the same area.
Other important factors that deal with Halloween gatherings include social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors.
Gatherings with more preventive measures in place present less of a risk than gatherings without preventive measures being implemented.
It is not a normal year for Halloween because of COVID-19, but the people of West Columbia are finding ways to make it special for the kids, regardless.