As Halloween approaches, it may evoke different fears and worries than scary clowns or spiders with the coronavirus still a threat. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t safe ways to celebrate the scariest day of the year.
The East Meadow Chamber of Commerce will host its first “Trunk-or-Treat” from noon to 3 p.m. on Halloween at Veterans Memorial Park, at the corner of Prospect and East Meadow avenues.
“A lot of the events that usually happen around Halloween have been canceled this year, so we thought this would be a good way for the businesses to promote themselves while giving kids a safe way to enjoy Halloween,” said Marcella Pizzo, who is co-chairing the event with Taleen Krug. Both are chamber board members.
Chamber members and business owners can participate by decorating their vehicles and filling their trunks with individually wrapped candy for children to grab as they walk through the parking lot of the park, which many East Meadow residents call their “town square.”
Krug and her husband, Richie, have two children, Christian, 5, and McKenzie, 3. “Everybody’s been asking me if we plan on going trick-or-treating,” Taleen said, “and I thought this would be a good alternative and a good way to get the chamber involved.”
The East Meadow School District usually hosts its own community trunk-or-treat, but decided to cancel it this year, along with many other extracurricular and family events. That inspired the chamber to take the reins and host its own event. “We thought it would be a nice alternative, so parents could feel safe with their kids trick-or-treating,” Krug said.
Her children have already decided on their costumes for the event: Christian plans to dress up as a ninja, and McKenzie will go as Elsa from the Disney film “Frozen.” “This will be a good way to give our kids somewhat of a normal Halloween during these unprecedented times,” their mother said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidelines for safely celebrating Halloween, ranking traditional activities as low, moderate or high risk. Lower-risk activities include virtual costume contests, putting up decorations and scavenger hunts in which children identify Halloween-themed decorations at homes in their neighborhood.
Moderate-risk activities include one-way trick-or-treating, in which individually wrapped goodie bags and candies are placed at a distance — at the edge of a yard or driveway — to avoid hand-to-hand contact. Another moderate-risk activity is small outdoor costume parties or parades in which participants can maintain six feet of social distancing.
While trunk-or-treating and trick-or-treating are both considered higher-risk activities, Pizzo and Krug said the chamber planned to take additional precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Vehicles will be at least six feet apart, and there will be tables with hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment. Attendees will pre-register for a specific time slot, and attendance will be limited.
The event will also include a scavenger hunt, live entertainment and a costume contest.
When it comes to costumes, the CDC says that a traditional costume mask is not designed to protect against viruses and should not be worn in the place of a multi-layer cloth face mask.
Business owners interested in taking part in the Trunk-or-Treat can e-mail email@example.com. Guests can register for a time slot at https://bit.ly/3le6rNO.