PHOTO: The local bookstore Avid Reader decorates its storefront preparing for Halloween and Oktoberfest.
By Anisha Dhakal,
Many Halloween traditions are not possible this year due to the circumstances of the pandemic. Despite the fact that many of these past traditions cannot continue, families, businesses and individuals alike are trying their best to find safe ways to enjoy Halloween.
In past years, the Downtown Davis Business Association’s popular Trick or Treat Trail allowed families to go around local businesses on Halloween day. The activity has been canceled due to health and safety concerns.
To continue to celebrate the October festivities, the association hopes to implement a 7 Days of Halloween to allow for a safer yet enjoyable alternative to the traditional celebration.
“We plan to have activities throughout the month of October with the ‘Tell Tale’ heart of downtown at the E Street Plaza because it’ll be the most heavily decorated and has been renovated as part of the Open Air Davis initiative,” said Aaron Wedra, marketing coordinator of DDBA.
Throughout the month of October, Downtown Davis will be gradually transformed into a spooky hub where families can spend their time. Businesses will be participating in a decorating competition between Oct. 25 and 31 where families will be encouraged to cast their votes for their favorites on Facebook.
“We are encouraging restaurants to have Oktoberfest-themed foods, coffee shops with pumpkin spice, bars to have autumn brews, and restaurants to also embrace Oktoberfest and Halloween,” Wedra said.
In addition to countless other activities that the association hopes to have, a 7 Days of Halloween scavenger hunt activity will encourage families to search for clues around downtown to solve the mystery and win prizes. Although businesses will not be distributing candy on Oct. 31, certain businesses may distribute these treats from Oct. 25-30.
Some businesses have decided to add their own activities to encourage the Halloween spirit.
Rachael Ryen, founder of Zumapoke & Lush Ice, decided to hold a pumpkin carving contest that will allow folks of all ages to submit carved pumpkins that will be displayed in the windows of the restaurant. Each customer will have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite pumpkin a week before Halloween.
The winners for each age category will win a prize for either shaved ice or poke.
“As a mom of two I understand that it’ll be a disappointing Halloween especially for the younger kids so we wanted to do something that’ll still sorta be fun,” Ryen said.
Second grader Jackson Liu is one of the many students especially upset about the cancelation of trick-or-treating this year. Senior Riley Liu has planned out her surprises for Jackson that day with hopes of allowing her younger brother to still enjoy Halloween.
“He was really sad when he found out so we’re going to have a Halloween movie marathon, bake some Pillsbury cookies, and I’m also going to get us matching costumes to wear even though we won’t be going anywhere,” Riley said.
Despite the cancelations of traditional festivities, several students still plan to enjoy the holiday in a safe manner.
Sophomore Una Keller plans to spend time with her friends socially distanced that night.
“My friends and I are all getting dressed up as different Harry Styles costumes and celebrating a ‘Harryween’ and watching the One Direction movie so I’m excited,” Keller said.
Seventh grader Olivia Sanchirico plans to have a movie night with her friends as well.
“My friend’s are forcing me to watch a scary movie so I’m really not excited for that part because I don’t like horror movies, but I think it’ll still be fun even though we can’t go trick-or-treating,” Sanchirico said.
On the other hand, a handful of students are deciding not to celebrate Halloween altogether.
Sophomore Dominic Stilling was hoping to spend time with his friends this year without going trick-or-treating but does not currently plan to do so.
“I was planning on going to hang out with some of my friends this year but it just sucks that we can’t really do much,” Stilling said.