ROCKINGHAM — With Halloween around the corner, many Richmond County residents are wondering how trick-or-treating will look this year.
Several holiday traditions, including the City of Rockingham’s and Town of Dobbins Heights’ trunk or treating activities and Richmond Community College’s haunted trail have already been canceled.
Leaders in the county’s two largest municipalities say there isn’t an outright ban on trick-or-treating, but they do discourage it and urge those who do participate to use caution.
“The city has no official position on trick-or-treating other than to strongly encourage people that decide to trick or treat to abide by and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines to social distance six feet, wear a mask and practice proper hand hygiene,” Rockingham City Manager Monty Crump said in an email. “Adhering to those guidelines while trick-or-treating is very difficult to do and hopefully most people will decide to forgo trick or treating door to door this year and instead opt for a safer choice for their children to enjoy Halloween in the current COVID 19 pandemic.”
Crump also asks that trick-or-treaters be respectful of households not participating.
The porch light being off is a traditional sign that a home is not passing out candy.
“The City is encouraging folks to avoid traditional holiday activities — like trick-or-treating — that are higher risk for spread of COVID-19,” Hamlet City Manager Matt Christian said in an email. “We’ve posted some suggestions on our Facebook page. We are going to be posting some other information throughout the week.”
During the last City Council meeting, Christian urged the council against making an official declaration regarding Halloween activities.
“We don’t want to stop people from walking down the street,” Mayor Bill Bayless said. “I don’t want to see city police officers chasing kids up and down the street. That’s just ridiculous.”
But some residents are undeterred.
Several events have been posted in a Facebook group, Richmond County trick or treating 2020, which boasts more than 1,000 members.
Here are a few the RO is aware of:
- Rockingham Wesleyan Church will pass out goodie bags during a drive-thru from 4-6 p.m.
- There will be a haunted trail in the Lakestone community starting at 5:30 p.m.
- D&A Skull Mounts will have “tons of candy” and a costume photo contest starting a 5 p.m.
- Maple Street Free Will Baptist Church will host a trunk or treat from 5-7 p.m.
- Sonic will host a trunk or treat from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- American Woodmark will host a drive-thru trunk or treat Thursday from 6-8 p.m.
Residents on Airport Road, Skyline Drive and Hylan Avenue have also said they will be passing out candy.
Page administrators plan to have a complete list on Friday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the N.C. Department of Transportation offered safety tips to pedestrians and drivers for preventing accidents on Halloween.