SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Halloween is looking a little scarier this year in terms of trick or treating and costume parties. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its first guidance for the spooky holiday, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But one Sioux Falls neighborhood is getting creative to make sure all those little ghosts and goblins are still able to go door to door.
“I think like with everything there is concern,” Shannon Steffke said.
Door-to-door trick-or-treating and costume parties may be discouraged this year due to the pandemic, but that’s not stopping Steffke.
“My daughter is 10 and this is probably her last year of trick-or-treating so she really wants to go,” Steffke said.
Steffke usually takes her kids trick-or-treating in the McKennan Park neighborhood and that’s likely where she’ll go again this Halloween.
“We are going to give it a try, not sure what our plan is exactly or what it looks like, there will probably be some modifications,” Steffke said.
“I think we all have concerns,” Carrie Proehl said.
Carrie Proehl, who lives in the McKennan Park neighborhood, says she’s been working with other neighbors for weeks to make sure kids can still have a safe Halloween this year during a pandemic.
“We started talking about this as a neighborhood back in July through FB posts; how many to expect, what we are going to do now, we are getting closer to the holiday and we’re just trying to make the best decisions possible with the information we have,” Proehl said.
Some of those decisions Proehl says may include yard signs to let kids know which houses will be handing out candy and which ones won’t.
They might also have arrows pointing which way to walk to maintain social distancing.
Some will even be using carpet tubes to handout candy.
“You just take a carpet tube and just deliver the treats from the top of the house down to the bottom, some of our homes around here have inclines to them so it does allow the treats to go down and the kids can have their bags,” Proehl said.
Some will also be putting candy on sticks, like these, so kids can grab and go.
They’ve even built an interactive map on their Facebook page showing which houses marked by a pumpkin will be handing out candy.
But Sanford Health says there will be risks involved if kids go door to door trick-or-treating.
“I think this Halloween no one really knows what to expect, so with the CDC not recommending trick- or-treating we have a couple different options for parents to use,” Sanford Health parent navigator Kori Junkman said.
Kori Junkman, who is with Child Services, says there are other safer ways for kids to celebrate Halloween this year without risking getting the virus.
“You can have an open air costume parade where you make sure you’re following social distancing but you still get to show off your costume or you could do an Easter egg style hunt where you put candy in your backyard or have a movie night with your family or relatives you visit with often,” Junkman said.
The McKennan Park neighborhood usually has more than a thousand kids during Halloween and Steffke’s 10-year-old will be one of them, but says her daughter might have to wear a mask.
“The jury is still out on the mask yet the 10 year old asked if she had to wear one and I said ‘we’re going to take it on a case by case thing, and I’m not going to make any promises right now,” Steffke said.
The CDC also offers low risk activities including carving pumpkins and decorating your home, outdoor scavenger hunts, and virtual costume contests.
If you’d like to try one of those carpet tubes, Dakota Floors in Brandon has a limited number of them available.