As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt daily life in the United States, people across the country are navigating the safety protocols in place to maintain social distancing. With fall holidays fast approaching, you may be wondering if Halloween will be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how some classic Halloween festivities will look a lot different this year.
As cases of coronavirus rise in some places in the United States, some cities have announced cancelations and new regulations around Halloween events this year. Though people can still find safe ways to celebrate Oct. 31 this year, many annual events that attract large gatherings, such as Disney Halloween and Universal Studios Horror Nights, will be affected by government mandates on large public gatherings. To give you a picture of what you can expect this holiday season, here are the top events and festivities that have updates for Halloween 2020.
New York City’s largest parade, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, has been canceled to reduce COVID-19 risks. In an open letter to the community, the parade’s artistic and producing director explained that in place of the parade, a spontaneous COVID-19 safe event will happen on Halloween night.
The city of Salem, Massachusetts, is also cancelling its iconic "Haunted Happenings" parades and festivals this year, due to limitations imposed by the state’s reopening requirements. The city of Salem made the decision due to the prediction that the state will still be in Phase 3 of reopening, which prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 25 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people. As of Oct. 4, the city of Salem is in Phase 3 of reopening.
According to Nevada Appeal, the Nevada Day Parade, which normally takes place in Carson City, has been canceled due to the pandemic. Instead, organizers are working to create mini parades and other festivities that feature classic events from the annual parade, such as the Single Jack Rock Drilling Contest, Hot Air Balloon Launch, and Beard Contest.
The Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure will be canceled this Halloween as Disneyland awaits theme park guidelines from the state to be released. Disney World’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which is held at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, was canceled in June amid coronavirus concerns. The event typically runs a couple of nights per week from August through the beginning of November.
Instead of the events, Disney World is permitting guests of all ages to wear costumes at Magic Kingdom from Sept. 15 through Oct. 31. Prior to this year, guests over the age of 13 were only allowed to wear costumes at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, not during the theme park’s regular operating hours. There will also be other festivities to celebrate the holiday, including a daily Halloween-themed character cavalcade on Main Street, trick-or-treat rails, spooky decorations, themed merchandise, and special food and beverage options.
Universal Studios Horror Nights
Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood in California have canceled their Halloween Horror Nights events this year. The company shared it will be focusing on operating its theme parks for daytime guests with enhanced health and safety procedures. Halloween Horror Nights is slated to return in 2021 at both locations. Though the special event will be canceled, you can still enjoy holiday festivities at Universal Orlando Resort, which is currently open to the public with extra safety measures, including social distancing, face covering, temperature checks upon arrival, and hand sanitization prior to boarding select rides.
From Oct. 3 through Nov. 1, you can visit two haunted houses — Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives and Revenge of the Tooth Fairy — and go trick-or-treating in Islands of Adventure. The theme park at Universal Studios Hollywood is still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but you can visit Universal CityWalk, which has limited opening hours.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for holiday celebrations list that if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19, traveling to a fall festival outside of your community is a high risk activity.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago suburb Highwood has canceled its annual Pumpkin Festival, due to Illinois’ emergency COVID-19 guidelines prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people at any one time. The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, which is one of the largest pumpkin carving events in the country, has also been canceled. The event is scheduled to return in 2021.
Festivals, haunted houses, carnivals, and other attractions will be canceled in Los Angeles, California due to a new health order issued by the Department of Public Health that states large public indoor and outdoor gatherings won’t be allowed.
The CDC guidelines note that door to door trick-or-treating is a high risk activity. One-way trick-or-treating, where individually wrapped bags with treats are left for families to pick up while practicing social distancing, is a moderate risk activity. If you’re putting together goodie bags, the CDC recommends washing your hands before and after you prepare the bags.
In California, both Los Angeles and San Francisco are discouraging trick-or-treating. In El Paso, Texas, door to door trick-or-treating is not permitted. Instead, county officials recommend celebrating virtually or participating in trunk-or-treating and car parades. In Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced that trick-or-treating is banned this year.
The CDC defines moderate risk activities as attending an outdoor costume party where people are maintaining at least six feet distance and using masks, as well as having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family and friends while maintaining at least six feet distance. High risk activities include attending crowded indoor costume parties and using alcohol or drugs.
The CDC recommends you avoid gatherings if have symptoms of COVID-19. If you do decide to attend a celebration, you’ll want to practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, and follow good hygiene around food and drinks.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily’s coverage of coronavirus here.
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