BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – The City of Bluefield has decided to observe Halloween trick-or-treating this year.
Communities across the country are canceling their Halloween events, with many receiving mixed reactions from the community. But earlier this week, the City of Bluefield announced they would be observing Halloween without issue. Bluefield’s city manager Dane Rideout says that they’ve never fully canceled Halloween, and they didn’t want to this year either.
“The only time we’ve ever canceled Halloween since I’ve been in the position was due to weather. And that was really a safety issue from emergency services and such. And we just moved the day,” Rideout said.
The decision wasn’t made lightly. According to Rideout, Halloween could still be observed in a safe way as long as people wear masks and social distance. As well, the city believes that anyone who doesn’t feel okay with it could just not participate this year.
“We took a hard look at what’s happening around the country, especially with COVID-19 and such, and putting some normalcy back into people’s lives. And we’ve determined the fact that Halloween can be a voluntary participation. So if folks don’t want to participate in Halloween, they can just turn their light off.”
The city originally announced their Halloween plans online, with a hugely positive reaction from the community. Based on the community response, dozens of families in Bluefield are excited to let their children trick-or-treat in a traditional manner this year.
“We actually posted it online and within about 12 hours, we had reached over 32,000 people. And I can tell you that a high 90% of the folks were very appreciative of the fact that we were going to have Halloween.”
The city says they looked at recommendations from the CDC regarding holiday celebrations, and determined Halloween to be relatively safe for their community. But if you do decide to attend any trick-or-treating events, it’s recommended you wear a mask and social distance.
According to the CDC, anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or is at risk, should not attend in-person holiday celebrations.