Trick-or-Treat saved; city looks to holidays

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Marysville children will have the opportunity to participate in Trick-or-Treat this year.
At a recent meeting, City Manager Terry Emery announced that Trick-or-Treat would be held from 6-8 p.m., on Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31.
“We are going to make this Halloween and this Trick or Treat as normal as we can and we think we can do that pretty well,” Emery said.
He said city officials are, “working closely with the Union County Health Department to provide a safe event.”
City Recreation and Events manager Amanda Morris said the city is also working to help ensure Uptown businesses are able to present the annual Scarysville event.
She said organizers are still confirming final plans, “but we’d like to see it happen and we think it can.”
Morris said Scareysville is traditionally the Saturday before Halloween. This year it will likely be the morning of Oct. 31. She said the two events hit different populations. Morris said Trick-or-Treat appeals to older children, while Scareysville is geared more toward families with younger children.
She said the city will work with businesses and open other areas to allow them to spread out.
“We want to be able to hold both these events so we are going to do whatever we need to do to and help in any way we can to make sure we can have them and have them safely,” Morris said.
She said because the events are outside and allow for groups to spread out, it is easier to hold them safely.
“And they lend themselves to wearing masks so in some regard I think that’s helpful,” Morris added.
Emery said the city will encourage participants to stay in small groups, wear masks if possible, to be around people they have been with in the past and to “do the best you can.”
“Basically, we are asking people to follow many of the same safety protocols they have been living under the last couple of months,” Emery said.
Last week, the village of Plain City announced that it would hold Trick-or-Treat from 3-5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31.
Marysville and Plain City are moving away from the recent trend to allow the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) to set a unified trick-or-treat date for the region.
This year, MORPC has set the regional Trick-or-Treat for Thursday, Oct. 29.
According to information from the regional planning commission, when October 31 falls on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, Trick or Treat is held on that day. When Halloween, falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, Trick or Treat is held the Thursday prior to October 31.
Emery said he monitors the suburban communities in the region. He said some of the communities are following the MORPC recommendation and some are not.
“What you are finding is that communities, with everything they have been dealing with, are doing what they feel is best for their individual community,” Emery said.
While the commission has set a date, MORPC has said it will be, “up to each community to decide what they are doing about Trick or Treat or an alternative version in light of COVID-19.”
The group encourages parents to check their community website and to “exercise judgment in allowing children to participate.”
“We feel like we can have a positive event and I just feel like, we want Trick or Treat to be as normal as everybody knows it to be,” Emery said.
City officials are also working to make other upcoming holiday events happen safely as well.
Morris said it “looks promising” that the annual Pumpkin Dash will happen. She said the run, held on Thanksgiving morning, will happen, but will look different this year. She said the run will be at a different location because there will be a staggered start to accommodate runner social distancing. She said it would be “impossible to shut the downtown streets for four hours to be able to do that.” She said organizers will make an announcement of the new location soon. She added there could also be a virtual component to the race.
“I think our goal is to make this move for this year and then go back to what we have done in the past when we can,” Morris said.
She said Christmas events are also in the planning stage.
The city is looking at options for the annual Uptown Christmas Walk and tree lighting ceremony. Morris said the event draws a large crowd, but it is outside so participants can space out.
Morris met this week with vendors to help keep the iceless ice rink safe. She said the city will try to use a system, similar to the one used for the pool, to make sure the ice rink does not exceed a maximum capacity. She said the advantage to the rink is that, “the turnover there is quite a bit more.”
She said visiting Santa could be difficult. She said the meeting happens in a small house and involves vulnerable populations in both the children and the elderly Santa actor.
“We are still trying to brainstorm what Santa looks like this year,” Morris said.
She said the key to Santa and many of the events is patience.
“I think we are waiting to see what the next couple of months bring,” Morris said.



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