Safe Options for Halloween

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With Halloween just around the corner, the New River Valley Public Health Task Force reminds individuals of all ages to follow the CDC recommended guidelines for holiday celebrations. Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses and while area localities do not regulate Halloween, there are numerous, alternative ways to participate, be safe and have fun.

The following is a list of activities in order of least, moderate, and highest risk according to the CDC. Citizens are encouraged to seek out opportunities to celebrate within their own families or congregational units, or within small neighborhood pods.

Lower risk activities

  • 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

Moderate risk activities

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Still undecided on what to do? Check out one of the following Halloween events in your community.

Safe and Fun Halloween Events

Town of Blacksburg

Halloween Trick or Treat Drive-Thru

Friday, October 30, 4-6pm
Blacksburg Community Center, 725 Patrick Henry Drive
Dress up as your favorite character and gather lots of treats from spooky characters while you stay in your car. The event is for elementary school aged children and all health and safety guidelines will be followed.

Virginia Tech

Oak Lane Costume Caravan for Community Children and Families

Sunday, Oct. 25, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Virginia Tech Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Panhellenic Council invite community families with children to participate in the Oak Lane Costume Caravan.

Participants are encouraged to dress in costume, decorate their car, and drive through the loop of Oak Lane during this event. Along the route, fraternity and sorority houses will be decorated for Halloween and students from Virginia Tech fraternities and sororities will stand in costume to wave at the families and children driving through the loop. All Virginia Tech students will be wearing face coverings and will remain 6 feet apart, and there will be no physical contact or direct exchange of candy or other goodies along the drive-through. At the end of the route, each child will receive a pre-packaged bag of nut-free individually wrapped candy and treats through a special contact-less delivery system directly to their vehicle.

All adult participants (drivers and passengers) are asked to wear face coverings throughout the event, and everyone must remain in their vehicle at all times. Volunteers and staff working the event will be wearing face coverings and appropriate personal protective equipment and will wash or sanitize hands regularly. For more information, contact Fraternity & Sorority Life at (540)231-6609 or visit fsl.vt.edu.

Town of Christiansburg

Night Full of Fright: Trick or Treat Drive-Thru

Saturday, October 31, 5-7 p.m.
Christiansburg Recreation Center Parking Lot, 1600 N. Franklin Street

Wear your best costumes and enjoy some goodies from the safety of your car. Drive through some fun Halloween decorations while listening to spooky music, and check out vehicles and equipment from Public Works, Police, Rescue and Fire. All treats will be pre-packaged, and current safety guidelines will be followed. Please note this event will occur rain or shine, while supplies last.

Montgomery County

Virtual Ghostly Gala Halloween Costume Contest

Children 12 and under are invited to email a picture donning their Halloween costume from now through October 31 to mcpr@montgomerycountyva.gov, along with parent and child’s name and child’s age. The winner will be announced on Monday, Nov. 2 at https://www.facebook.com/mcparksrec

City of Radford Halloween Drive-Boo

Oct. 31 3-5 pm
Radford Recreation Center.

All treats will be pre-packaged and safety guidelines will be followed, while supplies last. Come with your vehicle decorated for Halloween, while seeing spooky decorations, and then turn the corner to receive no tricks, just treats from staff in appropriate PPE.

Town of Pulaski

Virtual Costume Contest

For details visit https://www.pulaskitown.org/news/what_s_new/announcement_on_town_halloween_events or call 540-994-8600.

Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce Drive-Thru Treat Trail 

Oct. 31 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Randolph Park
 https://www.pulaskichamber.info/

DON’T FORGET THE THREE W’S

  • Watch your distance
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands