We’re still more than a month away from Halloween, but the fretting has begun in Wellesley and elsewhere about how to handle the holiday in light of the pandemic.
Some suggest that trick or treating is the perfect socially distanced activity, with masks naturally part of routine, if kids can be kept from crowding doorways. Though candy highs can also lead to unpredictable antics, and good luck to parents seeking to quarantine candy collected by their kids.
Most of those we’ve seen chiming in online are hopeful trick or treating will take place. One reader wrote to us that: “Our family is pretty conservative/careful about Covid guidelines, but it seems to me that if done thoughtfully with as much touch-free as possible, trick-or-treating might actually be one event that could go forward: it is outside, could be done with one other family at most, masks are easy to incorporate into a costume, and people could be creative with candy distribution.”
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We’ve yet to hear of any formal town approach to Halloween. Wellesley has not been one to wilt over bad weather predictions in past years and reschedule Halloween as other communities have done. Not to say that bad weather and COVID-19 are the same…
Some things we know will already be different this time around for Halloween. The Wellesley Mothers Forum, for example, will forego its usual member costume party and set up a scavenger hunt at the Morses Pond trail during the last week of October that people can enjoy on their on schedule.
The Wellesley Hills Congregational Church announced in August that it was canceling this year’s colorful pumpkin patch, Wellesley’s signature Halloween visual. Dang! Now what are we going to put on Instagram?
“Our biggest concern is asking Church members to become “essential workers,” with all of the COVID19 risks that implies, particularly during the unloading and selling processes. Many of our best sales folks are retired, so would be at greatest risk for COVID-19 complications.
We do not want folks to risk their lives for the Pumpkin Patch – and we look forward to resuming next year!”
We’re still awaiting word on how organizations will approach traditional Wellesley Halloween events, such as the Bates Pumpkin Fair and the town’s house decorating contest. The Bates PTO is brainstorming ideas for a possible alternative.
The town is planning on another drive-in movie (Tuesday, Oct. 27) with a Halloween theme, says Wellesley Recreation Director Matt Chin.
“As for our parades, etc., no definitive decisions, but we need to be mindful of the Governor’s orders on outdoor group size,” he says.
Wellesley Free Library, which usually has Halloween activities but is operating in a limited way due to the pandemic, has yet to add any to its October calendar of events.
We imagine Wellesley College will make its Whitin Observatory domes spooky, though won’t be able to check them out in person due to the campus lockdown.
One Wellesley resident who regularly sets up an elaborate haunted yard will likely shift to a smaller scene for passersby to enjoy but walk through. “Yes, it’s going to be tricky this year,” he says.
As for us, we’ve been busy in our lab working on pretty contactless candy distribution schemes: