The Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Event Center, which has already been leaning into the spooky spirit with the new Scare Fair, has announced it will host a contactless “Trunk or Treat” event on Halloween to replace downtown Canby’s Spooktacular Village — which was nixed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s such a fun event, one of the highlights of the year,” fairgrounds Marketing and Events Coordinator Tyler Nizer said of the Spooktacular Village. “When we heard it was canceled, we wanted to do something where kids could still get the experience of trick-or-treating, but in a safe way with no contact.”
The fairgrounds’ event will be a little different than traditional Trunk or Treats, including ones that Canby Christian Church has hosted in the past, where costumed youngsters walk from car to car to collect candy.
This Trunk or Treat will be a drive-thru experience. Guests will line up at the fairgrounds’ blue lot with their trunks open, and local businesses that wish to participate will load them up with candy.
“That way, there will be no exposure between the people handing out candy and the people receiving it,” Nizer said.
Kids and parents are still encouraged to dress up in their best costume for the event. It is Halloween, after all. Trunk or Treat will take place on that Saturday, Oct. 31, from noon to 4 p.m.
Participating businesses are also encouraged to dress up and decorate their trunks in a festive manner. Nizer credited Shannon Allee of Hot Rod Dreamworks, who also leads the downtown scarecrow contest, for helping organize Trunk or Treat at the fairgrounds.
The decision by the city events team to cancel the Spooktacular Village — which meant individual businesses would still be allowed to decorate and even hand out candy if they wish, but there would be no organized trick-or-treating led by the city — was not well received on social media.
Some residents vowed that they would be forging ahead with trick-or-treating on All Hallows’ Eve, and that households should signal their participation in the annual tradition by leaving their porch lights on.
The Oregon Health Authority, concerned by recent increases in new cases of Covid-19 as the weather begins to turn, is advising residents to choose “low-risk Halloween plans” that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and decrease the impact on the state’s health care system.
Door-to-door trick-or-treating, indoor Halloween parties and other activities that may bring you into close contact with those not in your household are discouraged by public health officials this year.
The agency’s examples of low-risk activities include holding an online costume contest, watching a scary movie online, carving pumpkins with people in your household, decorating your house or apartment, or touring the neighborhood to look at decorated houses with members of your household.
“If you dress up in a costume, be careful to plan a costume that allows you to wear a face covering,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon state health officer. “Halloween masks will not protect you or others from coronavirus.”