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Tips for a safe Halloween

By Richard Rourk

Halloween is just a few days away and despite the cancellation of the annual Town of Erwin sponsored Halloween events downtown, other individuals and organizations are stepping up to ensure a safe and fun Halloween.

To ensure safety for trick or treaters, Unicoi County has a mask mandate in place and the CDC has laid out guidelines for Halloween events.

According to cdc.gov there are several safe ways to have a safe and responsible Halloween.

Make trick-or-treating safer:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

Wear a mask:

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing

Stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you:

  • Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.

Wash your hands:

  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.

Local Events:

Evergreen Church is hosting a “Trunk or Treat: Delivered” event. Citizens must preregister for this event and only the first 250 families will be accepted for delivery. Halloween packages will be delivered on Oct. 31 between 5-8 p.m. and recipients must live in Unicoi County. 

“It certainly is sad that COVID has so heavily affected many of the events and activities that kids look so forward to,” Evergreen Church Pastor Noah Taylor said. “We host an annual Trunk or Treat event that normally has 1,000-1,200 in attendance. It’s become a great way for our community to come together in a safe and fun manner. Obviously, due to the ongoing pandemic, there was no way we could have this event in the way in which we normally do, so we decided to be creative and organize a way to bring the event to children. Essentially, we have people that are dressing up, decorating their car, and taking a customized bag which will include candy, prizes, and activities to kids in Unicoi County at their home. To register, contact Debbie Williams at our church office at 743-9441. If you have previously registered online and have not received a confirmation email from us, please contact our church office.” 

For more information, visit churchatevergreen.com/trunkortreat. 

Flag Pond Ruritan is also hosting a Halloween event. The Flag Pond Ruritan and local churches will gather at the Old Flag Pond School to host a trunk or treat on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5-8:30 p.m. Social distancing and masks are encouraged. Please do not attend if you have a fever. For more information, call 794-6093.

Tennessee Hills Mountain Melodies, located at 3051 Unicoi Drive in Unicoi, will be hosting a Fall Harvest Costume Dance/Party on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 7-11 p.m. A $7 admission fee will be charged. A variety of concessions will be available for sale. There will be prizes, games, camaraderie, dancing, and surprises throughout the night. Live music will be provided by the Mountain Melodies House Band. Prizes will be awarded for various costumes voted best in category. This is a family friendly atmosphere with no alcohol or smoking permitted. For more information, please call 220-0610.

Please check with area churches, organizations and social media for other Halloween events and remember to follow CDC guidelines to ensure a safe and happy Halloween.