Is Halloween Canceled?


Each year, people of all ages welcome the month of October, also known as the “spooky season”. But now, amidst the spine-chilling horrors of social distancing and the ominous pandemic restrictions, how will this year’s Halloween be different?

Had this been any other year, freshman Cece Gerard said she would have gone to a party, but because of new developments in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she is unable to do so.

“We would usually go to a friend’s house or go trick-or-treating, but this year we can’t,” Gerard said. “This year I have to stay home because no one can have parties or go out because they’re not safe from [COVID-19].” 

Freshman Claire White said she agreed with Gerard that going to parties this year is unwise.  

“This year I’m just having a family party and not hanging out with friends,” White said. “I feel like it’s much more safe than going to a party, inside, with teenagers.” 

Following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) social distancing guidelines, trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, and even simply relaxing with a large group of friends while watching a scary movie are all strongly unadvised. Some cities are even going as far as to ban trick-or-treating and all parties of 10 or more people. Although Omaha is not among said cities, many of the major events during and surrounding Halloween, such as the Aksarben Ball, have been canceled or moved to a later date. 

If Halloween is more or less canceled, what are the other, safer alternatives? Westside’s ‘Trunk or Treat’ is an annual event where people park their cars and decorate their trunks with festive decorations. Costumed individuals walk from trunk to trunk instead of door to door. With the advent of prepackaged candies, ‘Trunk or Treat’ remained an easy way for people to enjoy themselves and the season in a safe manner, even during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Abigail Mutum, a freshman, took part in the event in Omaha over the weekend.

“Basically, my job was just to hand kids candy,” Mutum said. “[Some of my friends and I] set up the event in front of my mom’s bookstore, and us and some of the other businesses on the corner handed out candy and other promotional stuff. It was safe because everything had to be prepackaged, and it was all outside with masks on. Plus, it was really good for business.”

From small gatherings to safe and local events, Halloween is definitely not canceled. It just looks a little different this year.