In a year of closures and social distancing, several Douglas County communities have organized Halloween events with the aim of implementing recognized procedures against COVID-19 while embracing the fun of the holiday.
In Sutherlin, a section of East Central Avenue will be closed to traffic 4 to 6 p.m. so trick-or-treaters can visit both the trunk or treat and multiple downtown businesses. Visitors should start at the Sutherlin C Giles Hunt Memorial Library, 210 E. Central Ave., traveling clockwise down central before crossing the street and visiting businesses on the opposite side as they head back east, ending at Cascade Community Credit Union.
Maps highlighting the one-way route and participating businesses will be available at the library.
About 22 businesses will be in the library/senior center and Umpqua Bank parking lot for the trunk or treat, while a dozen downtown businesses will be handing out individually wrapped candies or have goodie bags lined up on tables outside storefronts for children to grab and go while continuing to social distance.
Sutherlin Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center Executive Director Tracy Martz said people are encouraged to stay with their families, wear face coverings and maintain 6 foot distancing between groups. Hand sanitizer will be available at various booths.
“We will have some people around to encourage people to make it a safe event, but mostly we want to focus on fun,” Martz said. “I don’t want everyone to feel like its a regulated event, but we want everyone to make good choices.”
The Calapooia Free Methodist Church, 333 Church Road, Sutherlin, will also host a Trunk or Treat in its parking lot from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
In Roseburg, Brooke Communications and The News-Review will host a Halloween drive-thru trick-or-treat and drive-in movie at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Beginning at 5 p.m., pre-made baggies of goodies will be handed out at various stops that leads back to a showing of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
The Camas Valley Rural Fire Department is hosting a trunk or treat at the Camas Valley Charter School football field from 6 to 8 p.m. Eighteen vehicles will be spaced around the track and games for all ages will be held on the football field. Entry is free and all children can get a free hot dog meal from Louie’s Redneck Dawgs.
Costumes are encouraged but not required. Organizers say costumes must be kid-friendly; nothing scary or inappropriate. Prizes will be offered for the best pumpkin carving best trunk contests.
“These kiddos have been greatly affected by COVID to the point of not being able to enjoy ‘normal’ holidays,” organizer Amandah Norman said. “We wanted to give them a sense of normalcy, while also being safe and taking precautions the best way possible.”
Myrtle Creek will celebrate a variety of holidays with its Candyland Halloween at Millsite Park, 231 Volunteer Way, from 3 to 6 p.m. Taking inspiration from the Hasbro board game Candy Land, guests will follow a chalk colored walkway past Santa Claus Land, Easter Island and Cotton Candy Land. Interspersed along the way are more than 20 businesses who will be passing out candy.
The costume photo contest will take place at the Band Shell, which will be the last stop before guests are directed to an exit point. The contest has three age groups, 0-5, 6-12, 13 and up, and varies gift card prizes for first through third places. Sign up is required, including a name, age and contact phone number.
No games, hot dogs or soda will be offered at the Myrtle Creek Elks Lodge this year, but the Elks will be gathering donations of canned food to help fill holiday food baskets.
“Hopefully this will be fun for everybody. I think it’s important right now for kids to have as many activities as they can ... I worry about the kids having something to do to help them not feel down. It was just really important that we kept this event going,” said Denise Ware, vice president and event planner for Myrtle Creek—Tri City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Farther south, Glendale will host a costume contest, parade and carved pumpkin contest in the Umpqua Bank’s parking lot, 251 Pacific Ave. Registration for the costume and pumpkin carving contests will be held from 11 a.m. to noon and the parade, which features the Top Hat Theatre Co., will begin at 12:30 p.m.
The costume contests has five age groups and a variety of possible prizes and the carved pumpkin contest is open to all ages. Prizes are currently on display at the Glendale Hardware Store, 432 Pacific Ave.