As our state continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla this evening issued the following update on the city’s plans for Halloween:
Update on Halloween
As we enter October, I know that Halloween has been a topic of discussion among our residents and children. As with many other activities over the past seven months, the challenge is – how do we balance a day that has traditionally been a favorite of our children (and adults), with the fact that we remain in a pandemic? It is a topic that my family has been grappling with as well, especially with my two children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently came out with guidelines regarding trick-or-treating and other Halloween related activities. These include avoiding door-to-door trick-or-treating, or trunk-or-treats, given the challenges of social distancing and the potential spread of COVID-19. Given these CDC guidelines, the most common question I am receiving is if trick-or-treating is going to be prohibited in Hoboken? The short answer is no. I believe this is a choice parents and families will be making with the most up to date information on the pandemic and infection rates available that we provide on a weekly basis, among other factors. However, taking into account the CDC’s recommendations, I am encouraging families and children to consider alternatives to trick-or-treating, including (but not limited to) the following activities:
- Pumpkin carving and decorating
- Halloween-themed movie night
- A Halloween-themed scavenger hunt in the home
- Decorating the house with a Halloween theme
- Virtual costume contest with friends or relatives
- Coordinating with schools to wear costumes during designated days
I’m pleased to share that as a City, we will be hosting a Halloween-based drive-in Movies Under the Stars on Thursday, October 29, Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31. The times and movies to be shown will be announced in the near future. Additionally, we will be hosting a virtual costume contest for children, where photos of costumes can be submitted electronically, with winning costumes to be announced on or around Halloween on the City of Hoboken Facebook page.
Given the challenges of Halloween taking place during the pandemic, we are also taking precautions to keep residents as safe as possible and reducing scenarios where COVID-19 is more likely to spread. To that end, in consultation with the Hoboken Health Department, Hoboken Police Department, and Office of Emergency Management, we have made the following adjustments and recommendations for this Halloween period:
- Canceling the Ragamuffin parade. Unfortunately, the parade – which is one of the most well-attended parades we have in Hoboken – is naturally likely to result in congregation, especially among our children
- No street closures and the prohibition of block parties on Saturday, October 31
- Postponing any open streets on Saturday, October 31
- Strongly discouraging any type of indoor parties (For those hosting and attending large indoor parties – both adults and children – the Hoboken Health Department advises to quarantine for a full 14 days)
We also recognize that some parents may come to the decision to allow their children to trick-or-treat as well. For those children trick-or-treating, along with accompanying parents, we are making the following recommendations:
- Wear a face mask, which can be incorporated into a costume or outfit
- Trick-or-treat with family members or household contacts only
- Trick-or-treat only in your local block or neighborhood – please avoid areas there that traditionally get crowded during Halloween if you do not live there
- Wait for others to complete gathering candy at a door or stoop before asking for candy, to maintain appropriate social distancing
- Coordinate with members of your block or building to host trick-or-treating during off-peak hours for children on the block, such as early in the morning on Saturday
If residents in households or apartments do not want to participate in handing out candy to children, which is completely understandable, we recommend shutting your lights off with a note on your gate or door.
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