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A COVID-19 influenced Halloween will be taking place this year. Halloween conveniently falls on a Saturday night so there will be trick-or-treaters and adults out there attending parties, but how many is anybody’s guess. Two main events held in Carthage and Gordonsville will not be taking place this year because of the pandemic. Earlier, organizers of the Gordonsville Halloween Bash announced the event would not be held this year.

The event is traditionally held on Main Street on Halloween night. While the annual event will not be taking place, organizers say residents, some organizations and others may still be handing out candy on Main Street. Meanwhile, Jeepers Creepers Trunk-or-Treat which has been advertised since the first of the month will not be taking place in downtown Carthage as scheduled. During a special called meeting Thursday night, the Carthage City Council voted not to grant a permit which would allow the streets to be shutdown in order to hold the event. The event is sponsored by the Smith County Chamber of Commerce with assistance from businesses and individuals.

Plans were for music and special lighting at the courthouse. In order to allow for social distancing, organizers had asked those handing out candy use chutes to drop candy into children’s bags. Organizers had also encouraged social distancing and wearing of masks for the event. Both events draw hundreds of children and adults each year to their downtowns. Meanwhile, in recent years a number of churches have been holding individual events and inviting the public. These events have not necessarily been held on Halloween night but traditional church nights, Sundays and Wednesdays.

Some churches have opted not to hold events this year while others will be handing out candy as usual. Some residents will be handing out candy as usual as others will choose to bypass the holiday. Still others are planning a socially distanced night for trick-or-treaters by leaving bowls of individually wrapped candy at the end of their driveway, walkway or on their front porch for spooks to help themselves. School activities: Some schools traditionally celebrate Halloween by allowing students to dress in costume. Forks River Elementary School posted its plans on the school’s website. Activities will take place on Friday, the day before Halloween, and follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. Students can dress in costume which comply with the school’s dress code and are restroom friendly (for bathroom breaks). Parents often attend a costume parade.

The parade will be held this year but parents are not allowed to attend because of COVID-19 restrictions. Plans are to stream the costume parade live on social media for parents to watch. Also, snacks brought to school by students for parties have to meet COVID-19 guidelines such as individually wrapped and store bought. Some options listed include: pudding, Jello, fruit, or ice cream cups, string cheese, individual bags of chips, pretzels, animal crackers, Cheez-its, cookies, or popcorn, Rice Krispy Treats, Little Debbie Cakes, granola bars or bags of muffins, Juice boxes, hug barrels, or juice bags and small bottles of water.