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Trick-or-treating during the pandemic

Posted at 7:22 AM, Oct 28, 2021

It's that time of year for masks of all different shapes and sizes: Halloween.

However, with the pandemic, many spooky festivities were canceled last year.

More than a year in, we asked how people would be navigating Halloween during COVID-19.

“On Sunday, I am going to go trick-or-treating…and we’re going to scare some kids in our haunted house," said Jaylyn Valencia, a young resident of Arroyo Grande.

“This is going to be great, just to see the joy in my son’s eye. We’ve been hyping him up the whole month for Halloween and getting his costume ready," said San Luis Obispo parent and Gallant Barbershop barber, Terrence Walker.

But one parent was doubtful.

“I don’t see a lot of trick-or-treating going on this year, due to that [pandemic.] If it is…just you be safe," said Patrick Johnson, a parent in Guadalupe.

San Luis Obispo County Health Officials released guidelines for Halloween this year. They said to celebrate outside as much as possible, limit yourself to small gatherings, and wear a mask indoors – even outdoors if it is part of your costume.

“We’re going to be walking around the neighborhood just asking for candy,” said Valencia.

The Thursday before Halloween, trick-or-treaters can go around Downtown San Luis Obispo and visit 50 booths at the specially themed Farmers’ Market.

People can access the trick-or-treating map at theDowntown SLO website.

“We're expecting to have lots of little goblins and ghouls running around running around downtown and all of our local businesses are so excited to welcome Halloween festival-goers back to downtown,” said Bettina Swigger, the CEO of Downtown SLO.

The booths will be a mix of indoor and outdoor, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. San Luis Obispo County currently has an indoor mask mandate.

Terrence Walker will be handing out candy at the Gallant throughout the market.

“Keeping the masks on, just trying to keep the kids as separated as possible. It’ll definitely be a little difficult I am sure, but we’ll definitely figure out some sort of game plan," said Walker.

His son will be at the market trick-or-treating as well.

“Just to see him going store to store, watching him see the other kids in their costumes, just watching him light up. For me, it’s just going to be a joy to see that because I remember as a kid.”

There will also be a costume contest as well as a Scary-oke! contest at the Farmers’ Market. Several thousan people attend the downtown San Luis Obispo Market per week, according to Downtown SLO.

However, the organization isn’t sure how many people are going to attend the festivities this year.