Trick-or-treating and COVID-19

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MARQUETTE, Mich., (WJMN) – Trick-or-treating isn’t cancelled this year, but there are some extra recommendations.

Several cities and towns have announced trick-or-treating times. Some have provided residents with information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on trick-or-treating safety.

Ed Mattson Director of Police and Fire Services in Iron Mountain says trick-or-treating is not a sanctioned event so they set hours to help people stay relatively organized. They also sent out recommendations from MDHHS for trick-or-treating.

In Houghton, City Manager Eric Waara said they hope people will be safe and smart about trick-or-treating this year. He says their firefighters will be out in pairs to be available in case they are needed.

Mayor Jenna Smith of Marquette says the city commission voted on times for trick-or-treating and guidelines which are on the City of Marquette website.

“I think if we didn’t put out any guidelines I think people would trick or treat anyway and then would not necessarily know what to do to be safe about it,” said Smith. “So I think encouraging folks to wear masks,

The recommendations are from MDHHS and include carrying hand sanitizer, wearing a cloth or medical mask and avoiding crowding around houses or on sidewalks.

“It’s really important that you stick with folks in your own household, make sure to do what you feel comfortable with,” said Smith. “So maybe if you don’t feel like trick or treating, it’s ok to not go trick-or-treating it’s ok to just you know watch a halloween movie or kind of get some candy and do something different.”

She says they also recommend setting out “one-way” trick-or-treating, which is lining up individually wrapped goodie bags at the end of a driveway or in a yard, or putting out a bowl of candy on a table for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.

“I’ve also heard of an idea called ‘stick-or-treat’ where you put candy on like little sticks and stick them along in your yard spaced out,” said Smith. “Just kind of ways to let the kids get the treat without having them ring your doorbell be kind of face to face with you and minimizing those contacts where possible.”

One resident of Marquette, Ashley McGrath already has a plan for socially distant trick-or-treating. She will be filling bags with treats and hanging them on a clothesline for people to take from.

“We’re going to hang them on literally a clothesline I went to Menards and I got PVC pipe pretty cheap actually really nice it’s a little bit bendable and it’s weather tolerant and we’ve got clothesline literally and then clothespins

There are some alternatives to trick-or-treating this year. Main Street Calumet is hosting a SCARE-venger hunt, people interested in participating can pick up a bingo card from Ace Hardware Calumet, CK Barbering, Copper Island Chiropractic, or Hahn Hammered Copper starting on October 26th. Then complete the bingo card by finding enough items to get a bingo and return it to the 6th St. greenspace beside the village hall on October 30th between 3 P.M. and 7 P.M. to collect your candy.

The 5th annual Trick or Trot 5K will also still be happening but with flexible start times to allow for social distancing. Northern Michigan University will also be hosting a trunk-or-treat event in the PEIF parking lot from 4:00 – 6:00 on October 31.

You can also find ideas on other activities and check the risk level for trick-or-treating by county at halloween2020.org.

Some hours for trick-or-treating are:

  • Houghton: 5:00 – 8:00 P.M.
  • Iron Mountain and Kingsford: 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. (CST)
  • Gladstone: 5:00 – 7:00 P.M.
  • Escanaba: 5:00 – 7:00 P.M.
  • Marquette: 4:00 – 7:00 P.M.
  • Munising: 5:00 – 7:00 P.M.
  • L’anse: 5:00 – 7:30 P.M.

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