The pandemic has forced Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents to find more creative ways — from renting a farm to leaving goodie bags at the end of driveways — to celebrate Halloween.
The Town of Chapel Hill has canceled the annual Halloween celebration on Franklin Street this year. This celebration is a popular tradition among UNC students, who crowd downtown on the night of Halloween, often in costume.
Maurice Jones, Chapel Hill's town manager, said the Town discourages large crowds and will not close off downtown Chapel Hill to traffic as it has done in previous years.
“We recognize folks need an outlet during these incredibly challenging times," Jones said. "Halloween is a fun tradition for children and adults alike, so we want people to relax and enjoy the day, but in a safe manner that limits the possible spread of the virus. We would prefer not to see large gatherings.”
UNC sophomore Eric Schneider said he did not get the opportunity to go to Franklin Street last year.
“I really wanted to, but it was very rainy," Schneider said. "If I knew COVID would happen, I would’ve gone anyway."
However, he said that he understands that it’s important to be safe. He said he will probably leave a bowl with candy out on his front step and spend his Halloween night doing homework.
For people with children, trick-or-treating during a pandemic is a new conundrum. On the county website, the Orange County Health Department lists Halloween activities according to their level of risk.
A few examples of high-risk activities are going door to door to trick-or-treat, handing out treats from car trunks that are lined up in large parking lots and attending indoor crowded costume parties.