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Halloween poses tricky challenge during COVID-19

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star

Plans for Trick-or-Treating are still unknown for a couple local annual Halloween events. Due to COVID-19 precautions, large social gatherings continue to be difficult to navigate.

For downtown's Boo on Bell and Shawnee Mall's trick-or-treat festivities, little has been decided at this point.

Boo on Bell

State Rep. Dell Kerbs, a spokesman for Safe Events For Families (SEFF), said plans are not finalized yet, but Boo on Bell intends to go on, though modified with COVID-19 precautionary measures.

According to a SEFF Facebook post, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 24 is the tentative date.

“We will only do the event if we can provide it in a safe manner,” Kerbs said.”Otherwise we won't do it.”

Having said that, he also explained it would be the responsibility of all patrons to adhere to mask and social-distancing rules that are put in place.

The SEFF board of directors are meeting again at the end of the month to hash out more details.

Kerbs said though it is still possible the event could be cancelled, all efforts are being made to achieve the gathering with minimized COVID-19 risk.

Boo on Bell festivities in 2016.

Shawnee Mall

Shawnee Mall Director of Marketing Mindy Mew-Palmer said discussions are still underway regarding a trick-or-treat event at the mall.

She said rules at the corporate level regarding COVID-19 precautions at many of the mall stores are currently being assessed to determine how many sites would be allowed to participate.

“Among options is having something outdoors,” she said.

More details about both events may be available in a couple weeks. Watch for updates.