Halloween Will Go On–But With A (COVID) Twist
By LORETTA FULTON
Putting on a Halloween mask may not feel quite as exciting this year since many of us having been wearing a mask for several months.
But the excitement of dressing up in a costume never goes away for children, and several churches are doing their best to ensure that the traditional Halloween fun continues this year in spite of COVID-19.The always-popular Trunk-n-Treat is even more popular this year as it provides an outdoor setting with social distancing built in. Some activities will be held Wednesday night since that is a regular church gathering time, while others are scheduled for Halloween day, Saturday, Oct. 31. (SEE LIST OF EVENTS BELOW)
If treat or treating isn’t your thing, how about attending the Dia de los Muertos celebration sponsored by St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church and featuring the church’s Ballet Folklorico dancers? The festival will be held 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, at Sears Park on Ambler Avenue. The Ballet Folklorico performance will begin at 6:15.
“We encourage everyone to wear a mask and bring a picture of a loved one to put on the community ofrenda,” a church spokesperson said in a news release.
Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday tied to All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Dia de los Muertos, sometimes celebrated over several days, involves families and friends gathering to pray for and remember loved ones who have died.
Traditions include home altars and offerings or ofrendas placed on them to honor the deceased. Often, favorite foods, beverages, and gifts are left on gravesites. Wearing colorful skeletal masks also is a part of the tradition.
Other Halloween events follow:
SOUTH POINTE CHURCH
South Pointe Church is joining with Connect Church this year to host a Trunk-R-Treat in the South Pointe parking lot, 3050 Buffalo Gap Road.
The event, open to all, will be 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The area will be decorated and everyone is invited to wear a Halloween costume–and don’t forget the mask!
“This way people can socially distance and enjoy the day without fear,” said Allison Humber, South Pointe kids minister.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
First Baptist,1333 North Third St., will put a different spin on the traditional trunk-n-treat, 4-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.
Instead of the games, hot dogs, inflatables, etc., this year’s event will be a drive-through in the south parking lot, said Becky Tucker, pastor for children & women’s ministry.
“We will have the kids and families stay in their vehicles and drive through in a zig-zag course,” Tucker said. “The kids will receive several treats at different trunks.”
FIRST CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The church isn’t participating this year in the traditional trunk-n-treat sponsored by several downtown churches.
Instead, Grace Sosa, coordinator of children’s ministry, has been sending home craft bags that correspond with weekly videos for the kids.
SOUTHERN HILLS CHURCH OF CHRIST
A trunk-n-treat has become a tradition at Southern Hills Church of Christ, 3666 Buffalo Gap Road, and it will continue this year on Wednesday, Oct. 28, but with a twist.
“This year we are continuing our tradition with precautions in place to keep people safe,” said Holly Racca, children’s minister.
A drive-through on the north end of the parking lot will be provided 5-5:30 p.m. for anyone who wants to participate.
Two separate walk-through events will be held on the south end of the parking lot. People whose last number begins with the letters A-M are invited to stop by 5:30-6:30 p.m. For folks with last names beginning with the letters N-Z can come by 6:30-7:30.
Candy will be bagged and handed out by volunteers wearing masks and gloves. Cars will be spread out at safe distances. Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
PIONEER DRIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
The church issued the following announcment concerning this year’s fall festival event:
“This year we will host Fall Family Fellowship in lieu of Fall Family Fun Night. We are asking our families to come serve, worship, and enjoy a treat together. Instead of inviting the community to come to our church, we are taking it to them. On Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Center, we will be stuffing bags to bless the children of our Child Development Center. We will pray over the bags and spend some time in worship before we enjoy a treat. There will be no costumes this year, but there will be hot chocolate stations, cookies, a pumpkin patch, and a photo booth. You will not want to miss this new and exciting family ministry event!”
ALDERSGATE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
In place of its usual Fall Festival, Aldersgate UMC held a costume contest, which was judged by the older youths. Children put stickers on pumpkins and ran socially distanced sack races. Coffee service was available for older folks.
“It was fun and masks were strongly recommended!” said Katlynn Nichols, director of children’s ministry.