COVID crimps trick-or-treating activities
Surprises and suspense have always been a part of Halloween, and this year, the traditional fall celebration — like just about everything else — has been modified to incorporate COVID safety protocols.
Two churches in Twisp — the Community Covenant Church and the Cascade Bible Church — are offering trunk-or-treat festivities and goodies from 4 to 6 p.m. on Halloween, where kids can show off their costumes and get pre-bagged candy from cars. Cars will be spaced at a distance to keep people safe.
Trick-or-treaters — in small family groups — will approach the cars one at a time. Participants need to wear a cloth face mask (a plastic costume mask is not enough on its own).
Some well-loved activities at the trunk-or-treats, like train rides, fire pits and bouncy houses, won’t take place this year so that people aren’t encouraged to gather.
Hallowed trick-or-treating circuits like Burgar Street in Twisp and trunk-or-treat in Winthrop have been canceled to keep everyone safe. The Mazama Store also does not plan any formal Halloween activities.
While Burgar Street residents look forward to Halloween every year — and to creating elaborate decorations and welcoming all the kids — they decided it would be irresponsible to encourage a large gathering, according to neighborhood representatives.
Here’s a look at Halloween-related activities we were aware of as this week’s paper went to press.
Community Covenant Church and Cascade Bible Church, both in Twisp, 4 to 6 p.m.
Think out of the box — well, out of the sphere — and apply your creativity and ingenuity to a pumpkin for Methow Arts’ Jack-o’-Lantern carving contest.
Imagine ghoulish faces, mountain vistas, your favorite animals, geometric designs — whatever you can fashion in a pumpkin.
Methow Arts will display finalists — about 40 Jack-o’-Lanterns — in their windows on the corner of Glover Street and Second Avenue in Twisp. The artistic squash will be illuminated for five nights, from Tuesday (Oct. 27) through Sunday, Nov. 1. Winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 2.
Prizes — from $25 to $300 — will be awarded to the top five pumpkins in two categories: adults/older kids and kids. The contest is open to families, teams of artists, and individuals, but not to businesses. Pumpkins will be judged on design, detail, creativity and originality.
• prizes for adults and older kids (ages 13 and up) — one master-of-ceremonies winner; four runners-up.
• prizes for kids (ages 12 and under) — five prizes for the top designs.
• Participants can submit up to three carved pumpkins in the first round.
• Pumpkins must be carved and be able to be illuminated (hold a candle inside) to qualify. Preference will be given to pumpkins that are primarily carved (instead of using other props or paint).
• Judges encourage original artwork and designs, and discourage the use of stencils.
• Designs should be suitable for all ages. Scary designs are fine, but please, no violent or sexually suggestive elements. Also, use very little (or no) text or words. Pumpkin designs with unsuitable elements will not be accepted or displayed.
• Send photos of yourself with up to three carved jack-o’-lanterns and a completed entry form. Be sure to send a close-up photo of each pumpkin so the jury can see the details.
• Fill out an entry form at the link at www.methowarts.org/pumpkin-carving-contest, or send your full name, age, email address, mailing address, and photo(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Deadline for entry: Monday (Oct. 26)
Methow Arts will notify finalists, whose pumpkins will be displayed in their windows. Finalists must bring their carved pumpkins to Methow Arts by Thursday, Oct. 29. Methow Arts will supply the candles. Winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 2, on Methow Arts’ Facebook page at #artgrowshere.
Questions? Call 997-4004
STAY SAFE THIS HALLOWEEN
Many of the traditional ways people celebrate Halloween involve contact with non-household members in large groups, which unfortunately increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health (DOH).
DOH and Okanogan County Public Health have put together the following suggestions for safe Halloween festivities.
• Go with members of your household.
• Wear a cloth face mask in addition to your costume. (A costume mask doesn’t offer protection on its own.)
Giving out treats
• Limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags so people aren’t reaching into a communal bowl.
• To dispense treats at a distance, rig up a long pole with a clothespin, or slide candy through a long tube.
• Place treats on a table in your driveway or yard to avoid crowds at the door.
• Place mini-pumpkins or other decorations 6 feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while they’re waiting.
• Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating and bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
• Have a scavenger hunt at home. Dress up and hide candy or other treats throughout the house or around the yard.
• Have a Halloween movie marathon with household members.