By Rick Palsgrove
Trick-or-treat will still be held in Groveport this year, but other familiar Halloween activities in town will not take place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Trick-or-treat will be held in Groveport on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “The state of Ohio has released its guidance for trick-or-treat.”
The Ohio Department of Health issued guidelines and recommendations regarding Halloween festivities this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which include: cancelling or avoiding hayrides and haunted houses; not holding large Halloween parties; wearing protective face masks and practicing social distancing of at least six feet; using hand sanitizer often; avoid activities like bobbing for apples; and select outdoor events or those that allow staying in your vehicle.
The Ohio Department of Health also recommends people be cautious regarding trick-or-treating. It suggests holding drive through trick-or-treating events, holding drive by costume contests, leaving treats for friends and neighbors, decorating your home and hiding treats for your kids, and holding costume contests and pumpkin carry-offs virtually online.
If trick-or-treating door-to-door the department states parents should limit the number of houses visited, wiping off candy wrappers with sanitizer when you arrive home, allow kids to only eat factory wrapped treats and avoid homemade treats by strangers, and if your child is at greater risk for COVID contact your doctor before participating in Halloween activities. Community members could consider leaving treats on doorsteps or on an outside table.
Precautions: wear a mask if near others, carry hand sanitizer for use during trick-or-treating, limit the number of people in a group, limit those in a group to family members, those passing out candy should wear a mask.
For the full list of guidelines pertaining to Halloween, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/celebrating-halloween.pdf.
Groveport Halloween events cancelled
•The popular Halloween Block Party -which features music, popcorn, hot dogs, doughnuts, cider, and a costume contest and is traditionally held on Front Street near Groveport Town Hall during trick-or-treat – has been cancelled for this year.
In the past the block party has always drawn a large crowd of creatively costumed Halloween revelers who wander along Front Street between Main and Elm streets. Traditionally, residents in homes along Front Street go all out with elaborate and interesting Halloween decorations and displays, which adds a spooky flavor to the party.
But no block party this year.
“The block party will not be held,” said King. “We discussed this with the Franklin County Health Department and they advised that due to the nature of the event creating a gathering, that it should not happen. We continue to put safety and health at the forefront of making each of these decisions.”
•Similarly, the Blacklick Park Haunted Park, usually held in late October, has also been cancelled this year.
“The Trees and Decorations Committee decided to cancel the haunted park for 2020,” said King. “Similar to the block party, there are concerns about the size crowd it would attract.”
Traditional Groveport Elementary
Halloween parade will be held
Another long time tradition, the Groveport Elementary School Halloween afternoon parade, where students march down Main Street and through nearby neighborhoods in their Halloween costumes to the delight of parents and residents, will be held this year.
“If we are in school, we will have two parades to accommodate our blended schedule,” said Groveport Elementary Principal April Bray. “Of course, if something happens and we aren’t able to return to school we will not have it. I also contacted the Groveport Police to see if they would be willing to assist like they always do and they are willing to help.”
Bray said one parade will be held on Oct. 27 (“A” Group) and the other on Oct. 30 (“B” Group).
“Both parades will be in the afternoon, but the exact time not set yet,” said Bray.
Bray said the parade route still must be finalized, but it will most likely be a short walk down Main Street past Town Hall and then loop back around to Groveport Elementary.
Bray said precautions will be in place to protect against the coronavirus.
“We will have two parades so there will be only about one third of the numbers who usually participate,” said Bray. “Students will be required to wear their mask. We will stagger the start a little and walk six feet apart and we will also follow the rule of no visitors at school. Any spectator will have to practice social distancing off of school property down Main Street.”
This traditional Halloween parade is a favorite of Groveport residents.
“I love seeing how excited the kids get and I enjoy seeing all of their creative costumes,” said Bray. “It is something the kids always remember from their time at Groveport. I believe it is important to create these memories and continue traditions. How many years has this been a tradition? I’ve heard something like 75 years.”