Oct. 14, 2020 — The air is cool and the sky a little gloomy as October settles around the Siuslaw Region. Thoughts are turning to the spooky season surrounding Halloween and the many ways to decorate, dress up and delight in the irreverence of many people’s favorite holiday.
However, as with other events in 2020, several main highpoints of the season are postponed for the year, including the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Trick or Treat in Old Town, Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshops’ Scare-CROW Haunted Maze and other parties around town.
That’s not to say there won’t be Halloween this year. Several groups have come together to create events that allow for social distancing and maximum safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions.
Florence Chamber CEO/President Bettina Hannigan announced the cancelation of Florence’s largest trick or treat event at the end of September.
“We talked about, ‘Can we still do Trick or Treat in Old Town?’ and there is just no way we can do it,” she said. “It’s too risky. We’ve got to protect our kids.”
With the state’s guidelines, it would be impossible for the chamber to coordinate such a large gathering. The event annually brings hundreds of costumed kids and families into Historic Old Town Florence, where almost every business hands out candy and other treats.
Chamber Event and Tourism Development Coordinator Mitzi Hathaway added, “I've talked to a lot of merchants down there, and some really wanted to do something and others were like, ‘No, not this year.’”
People can still trick or treat. Neighborhoods are creating their own plans, with many people vowing to take extra care to decorate this year.
One post on Facebook stated, “I was thinking of putting our candy outside for self-service, and have a note say to ring our bell so we can admire their costumes through the window.”
Other people plan to leave their lights on to indicate their participation.
Still others are limiting their Halloween events to just family, doing a candy search in their yards or creating themed baskets for children to open.
There is also a “Halloween Candy Trick or Treat Map 2020” public group on Facebook where people who plan to give out candy can register. As of Oct. 13, the two local locations showed a home in Florence and the Mapleton Trunk or Treat (see event information below).
Hathaway, who loves Halloween, said she thinks community members will put together some additional events.
“It lands on a Saturday with a full moon this year. Are you kidding me? This is like, Halloween perfect,” she said.
Hathaway also added that the Florence chamber has more events and activities in the works for the winter season.
For people who do still plan to trick or treat or celebrate Halloween in public, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) urges caution.
“If you dress up in a costume, be careful to plan a costume that allows you to wear a face covering,” said State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. “Halloween masks will not protect you or others from coronavirus. Wearing a cloth or disposable face mask that fits snugly and covers your mouth and nose is still required while wearing a costume, no matter how scary or silly your costume is.”
OHA also recommends safer, low-risk activities, such as watching scary movies, carving pumpkins with people in your household, decorating your house or apartment or touring the neighborhood to look at decorated houses.
City Lights Cinemas, 1930 Highway 101, has a whole slate of seasonal movies planned, including such favorites as “Hocus Pocus,” “Ghostbusters” and “Monster House.” In addition, newly released movies are also appropriate for the season. Look for showtimes online at www.citylightscinemas.com.
Below, find a list of confirmed fall events in the Siuslaw Region. This list will be updated at TheSiuslawNews.com as Halloween approaches.
Through Oct. 31
Virtual Halloween Costume Contest
Hosted by Oregon Pacific Bank, Siuslaw News and Stitch & Sole
People can upload pictures of their Halloween 2020 costumes. Prizes available.
Upload costumes through Oct. 31; Voting begins Oct. 15 and ends Nov. 1
Through Oct. 15
Last Day for CROW’s Pumpkin Carving & Design Contest
Prizes for the top pumpkin in three categories
Coast Radio’s Great Pumpkin Giveaway
4 to 6 p.m.; Drive-thru event
Pumpkin and candy given to every child in vehicle
Cars will line up on Quince Street, drive up Sixth Street and go through the Old School Furniture Parking Lot
Spookie Cookie Bash
1 to 3 p.m.; $30 to decorate cookies
The Mustard Seed, 509 Kingwood St.
Annual Halloween Spaghetti Dinner
Noon to 8 p.m.; Special pricing for kids and adults
Homegrown Public House & Brewery, 294 Maple St.
3 p.m.; Outdoor event for kids and families
Crafts, treats, food and fun
The Mustard Seed, 509 Kingwood St.
Trunk or Treat Full Moon Halloween
5 to 8 p.m.; Outdoor event for kids and families
Set up begins at 3 p.m.
Prizes for best decorated trunk, costume and pumpkin
Mapleton F&F and Mapleton Food Share, 10710 Highway 126