With a mix of sun and cloud in the forecast for Saturday, there's a good chance of a trick or treaters making their way from the light of the blue moon. The Environment Canada forecast calls for a high of nine and low of one.
Halloween parties are a no-go this year (and if one has them, they must be very small due to the new public health order implemented earlier this week) but trick or treating is still possible with safety precautions in place say health authorities. Here's what you need to know about a COVID Halloween on Bowen.
Families are encouraged to drive around the island to enjoy all of the festive decorations. Bowen Island Community recreation has put together this map of some delightfully scary displays on-island.
Trick or treating on Bowen
Where usually hundreds flock to the Lenora-Melmore loop and then parade down to the Causeway to watch the volunteer fire department’s fireworks, this year, neighbourhoods have instead organized their own small trick or treating areas. There will be no fireworks from the fire department.
Each neighbourhood is requesting, for safety and candy numbers, for children to stick to their own neighbourhoods.
For the Whitesails, Tunstall, Adams Rd., Sealeigh Park and Sunset area: there’s trick or treating on Whitesails between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
For the Miller’s Landing-Scarborough area: there’s trick or treating on Upper and Lower Oceanview as well as Deerwalk from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. “If people want to participate on that route they can put a pumpkin out or be out at the end of their driveway,” says the community organizer.
For the Cates Hill area: There will be trick or treating on Village Rd. and Seaview Place. Organizers are asking homes wishing to participate to put out a pumpkin and for trick or treating groups to stick to four or fewer people. They’re also asking adults to hang back instead of approaching doors with kids, if possible. A 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. timeframe there too.
For Deep Bay: While it won’t be the usual community-wide celebration, a number of homes in Deep Bay are still dressing up to welcome trick or treaters from the neighbourhood. There’s more coordination on this topic in the Deep Bay Neighbours Facebook group.
For Bluewater: There’s trunk or treating (from parked cars or bottom of driveways) around the Windjammer/Spyglass loop.
For the Cove and others not comfortable going house to house: Bowen Island Integrated Health will be capping off its Carve up the Cove contest. People can swing by anytime after 5 p.m. to light their pumpkins and pick up a grab bag. They’ll have extra pumpkins to light and plenty of grab bags, so kids in general can come down, drop a glowstick in a pumpkin and pick up a grab bag.
Here are some of the BCCDC guidelines for trick or treating.
No matter how you celebrate Halloween this year…
- Turn off your porch light and stay at home if you are sick or self-isolating.
- Try including a non-medical mask or face covering as part of your costume.
- Costume masks should not be worn over non-medical masks or face coverings as that may make it difficult to breathe.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
Trick-or-treating can be done safely by following these tips
Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out.
Keep to your local neighbourhood this year.
- Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors (in places like malls) since there may not be enough space to distance. Indoor spaces may require a non-medical mask or face covering.
Trick-or-treat in a small social group, stick to six people.
- Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks.
Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats.
- Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go.
- You don’t need to clean every treat. You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face.
Get creative handing out treats
- Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.
- Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl.
- Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
Be more outside, than inside.
- If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.
- If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening
If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
Help make trick-or-treating more accessible to everyone by handing out treats from the bottom of your stairs or at your curb-side.
Squamish RCMP and ICBC are reminding drivers to stay focused on the road and use caution when approaching intersections and crosswalks and be mindful of jaywalking pedestrians.
"For trick or treaters, we encourage children’s costumes to be visible and bright," said the release."If your costumes a dark colour, consider adding reflecting material and carrying a flashlight. Halloween masks are wonderful, but should be taken off between houses, so that you’re able to see what’s going on around you. Also, trick or treat on one side of the road, cross safely at the other end and then trick or treat on the other side of the road."
Halloween is still one of the best island events. Local businesses and groups are sharing their creepy schools and workplaces.
Since there are no Halloween parties this year, we thought it would be fun to dress up for work today at Muni Hall. Here's to a happy and safe Halloween from a bat, a piñata, a "formal apology", a leopard print croc, a pickle, another bat, the queen of hearts, and "in a zoom meeting"!