Politicians don’t often send Halloween messages. Then again, it’s not often that the holiday is celebrated amid a pandemic. First Selectman Jim Marpe says:
Halloween is a special holiday for many children and families. Due to COVID-19 however, Halloween in Westport will look different from prior years. I urge residents to be considerate and judicious in how they plan to partake in seasonal activities. It is incumbent upon all of us to insure a safe Halloween and upcoming holiday season.
Because the annual Halloween Parade and trick-or-treating in Town Hall has typically drawn increased foot traffic and crowding, the town regrets that it will not host the event this year.
Instead, the Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring a Halloween House Decorating Contest. I encourage everyone – young and old – to demonstrate their creativity, and decorate their homes in the spirit of the season. For more information, click here.
The Westport Downtown Merchants Association, in collaboration with the town, is exploring a family-friendly Halloween event on October 25. More information will be available soon.
Please follow these guidelines from the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding Halloween:
The CDC considers trick-or-treating to be a high-risk activity that should be avoided. It recommends alternatives with lower risk activities, and small events that allow for reduced exposure and ease of contact tracing.
Consider candy hunts, small “trunk or treats” with friends and family, crafts, virtual contests and other outdoor activities where social distance can be achieved.
The CDC advises against wearing decorative masks over surgical masks. This year consider a costume that does not require a decorative mask, so that a surgical or CDC-approved mask can be worn instead.
Connecticut entered Phase III of its reopening plan yesterday. Phase III continues to cap the number of attendees at all private indoor gatherings at 25. Trick-or-treating and gatherings at locations where Halloween has traditionally prompted increased crowds, either indoors or on town roadways such as Gault Avenue and the Compo Beach area, are strongly discouraged.
If you decide to participate in trick-or-treating on October 31, we recommend that it is done with increased precautions. Trick or treaters should be aware that if a home is darkened, it is likely not partaking in Halloween festivities and that decision should be respected. Limit the number of homes visited.
Town officials advise parents to not drop off children in certain neighborhoods. Instead, it is advisable to keep all trick-or-treaters in their own neighborhoods. We also request that residents not arrange for food trucks or other food, drink or entertainment that promotes gathering in neighborhoods.
In addition to Halloween, the CDC site also has guidance for the upcoming holiday season. Click here before making plans for your holidays.