Editor’s Note — This story has been updated to include information from a Village of Leesburg representative.
The city of Hillsboro and villages of Greenfield, Leesburg and Lynchburg announced this week that their communities will host trick or treat on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m.
“Children have faced challenging circumstances this year due to the ongoing pandemic,” Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha said. “The city believes they deserve the opportunity to enjoy traditions like Halloween and trick or treat this October, with proper public health and safety guidelines in place. We ask that all participants, parents and community members practice social distancing, wear face coverings and wash hands and sanitize frequently.”
The village of Greenfield also invited businesses and individuals to set up in downtown Greenfield near the City Hall building to celebrate Beggar’s Night. According to a Facebook post on the village’s page, the village will shut down a portion of South Washington Street next to the City Hall building to allow businesses to prepare and to provide more space for more people to set up in the space.
Jefferson Street will remain open, but police officers will be posted at crosswalks for safety.
Local communities’ representatives asked parents of trick-or-treaters to follow state COVID-19 guidelines during trick or treat festivities.
Greenfield also encouraged residents to decorate their homes and yards for its Halloween decorating contest. The contest will run until Monday, Oct. 26.
Greenfield residents may nominate any home in Greenfield by messaging the “Village of Greenfield, Ohio” Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who make nominations should include their names and phone numbers.
The village will contact the winner during the week of Oct. 26.
The following are the Ohio Department of Health (ODH)’s guidelines for trick or treat:
* The ODH recommended that everyone who participates in trick or treat events should wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from those who are not members of their households, and frequently wash or sanitize their hands.
The ODH added that children under the age of 2 and those who cannot easily remove their masks on their own should never wear face coverings.
* Parents should limit the number of houses they and their children visit.
* Parents and trick-or-treaters should stay as far from treat-givers as possible.
* Parents should wipe off candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes.
* Parents should only allow their children to eat factory-wrapped treats and avoid homemade treats made by strangers.
* Parents of children who may be at greater risk of complications from COVID-19 should contact their health care providers before their children participate in Halloween festivities like trick or treat.
* The ODH encouraged parents to carry hand sanitizer and sanitize their and their children’s hands frequently while trick-or-treating.
* Community members who hand out treats should avoid allowing children to select their own treats from a bowl or common container. If this cannot be avoided, set up a hand-sanitizing station. The ODH encouraged community members to use creative methods to distribute treats, such as using a “candy slide” made of PVC pipe or hanging treats from a wall or fence.
For a full list of guidelines, visit https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/celebrating-halloween.pdf.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.