LIMA — It’s 2020, and we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, yet we try to preserve our traditions, especially those for the kids, like Halloween.
Several area communities held some sort of Halloween event on Saturday.
The Lima Mall held its annual candy crawl, with a twist, thanks to COVID-19.
“This year we’re doing a drive-thru pick up. It was a ticketed event, so we can go along with the policies and procedures for COVID-19 and just kind of help everybody still keep their social distancing, but also have a great Halloween,” said Betsy Billingsley, marketing director for the Lima Mall. “We just want to be as safe as we can and still have these fun events that just kind of make our year a little bit brighter.”
The Laurel Oaks Neighborhood Association in Elida held an event to give kids a safe Halloween experience.
“I just thought we would do something fun for the kids. They’ve had a lot taken away this year, and we’re trying to be socially distanced and let them have some fun as well with some outdoor activities,” said Heather Guth, president of the Laurel Oaks Neighborhood Association. “We’re doing a small costume contest. And then we’re doing just some side games, you know, a little punch board where they can win a prize, a small scavenger hunt and a little guessing game with some candy.”
People had to pre-register for the Laurel Oaks event in order to keep the number of participants manageable.
“The biggest thing is we’re just limiting everybody touching,” said co-organizer Jen Baker. “We have just a small group of people that is touching anything, keeping the kids safe, keeping them distanced. We’re all wearing masks. We’re trying to do this but yet give them something to look forward to because so much has been taken away from them. Especially the little kids.”
Over in Van Wert, kids were able to trick or treat in the downtown area.
“The fact that we can do it downtown on the street makes everyone feel a little more comfortable too,” said Ashley Etzkorn, owner of Fettig’s Flowers.
Etzkorn brought her 1 1/2-year-old twins Emmitt and his sister Kara to downtown Van Wert.
“It’s just fun for the kids and for the businesses to just have that spirit of Halloween. The kids will have tons of fun and just walking past businesses outside. It makes for a nice substitute for Halloween,” Etzkorn said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.