Meridian Township residents are getting creative this year, providing new virtual ways to celebrate Halloween. The Meridian Township Board voted unanimously last Tuesday to cancel all in-person events to stop the potential spread of COVID-19.
“The recommendation from the staff and the board is that we really don’t do anything in regards to Halloween, except follow CDC guidelines, follow the health department and people will make individual choices,” said Township Trustee member Dan Opsommer.
Township Trustee member Courtney Wisinski suggested to the board that despite restrictions as a result of the Coronavirus, the county still has several ways for families to enjoy their holiday.
“We may not be holding any in-person events, but that being said I thought about proposing the idea of a virtual costume contest that we could hold over Zoom during Halloween. This way we could still put on something fun for the community while still following the CDC health guideline,” said Township Trustee member Courtney Wisinski
Andrew Floyd, a teacher at Okemos High School, said many of his neighbors have children who have been playing together and socializing throughout the pandemic. The group will likely gather at one house on Halloween so that the children can still dress up and “show off,” Floyd said.
“My kids are pretty disappointed that they will not be trick-or-treating this year, so although our Halloween party will be small, (it) will mean a lot to the kids,” Floyd said.
Like Floyd, millions of other families, friends, and communities will be celebrating Halloween differently this year by following CDC guidelines that are recommended.
Doug Warren, another Okemos resident, said he’s not planning on having his kids trick-or-treating this year. Instead, Warren plans to transform his house into a haunted mansion to ensure his children still have a good Halloween experience.
“As much as we want to fully celebrate Halloween this year, COVID-19 has pretty much made up our mind for us,” Warren said. “We don’t want to risk our kids’ safety for candy when we can just make our own celebration in our house with family members.”
Chris Silker, who lives in Okemos with his three children, also found a safer alternative to trick-or-treating. Silker plans to spread small bags of candy around his backyard as a scavenger hunt for his children.
“It’s not what we would normally do but it’s better than not celebrating Halloween at all,” Silker said.
Silker said the scavenger hunt will be the main event for the holiday, but his proudest idea he had was a safe walk around the neighborhood so that his kids will still be able to show off their costumes.
“It may just be a short walk around the neighborhood waving to a few people, but it’ll mean a lot to the kids, and this way everyone stays safe while also having a bit of fun too,” said Silker.
“We’ll be walking around the neighborhood for a short time so that the kids can still show off their costumes a little to anyone who wants to wave from their porch or from a distance so that everyone stays safe but still has fun,” said Silker.