Halloween’s annual celebration of fantasy and sweet treats will get out of the house Saturday on the North Olympic Peninsula, but with precautions taken against the spread of COVID-19.
The tradition of downtown trick-or-treating has been called off this year in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend because of the pandemic, although alternatives are available, while Forks will mark Halloween with its annual trick-or-treat at some 30 businesses.
Health officials have said that door-to-door trick-or-treating can be safe during the pandemic — in which cases have been increasing in the U.S. lately — if guidelines are followed.
Officials urge trick-or-treaters to travel in household groups, practice social distancing and not to gather in parties or crowds over five people. They caution that masks should be used and that plastic Halloween costume masks are no substitute for cloth or surgical face masks.
Trick-or-treaters should wash their hands before and after collecting treats and use hand sanitizer.
Those who give out treats are urged to limit candy to individually wrapped bags. If possible, place treats on a table in the driveway or yard to avoid crowds at front doors. To see trick-or-treaters, people can sit in chair in their driveways, garages, yards or porches, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from the treat table.
And, as always, no one who is feeling sick should interact with others. Anyone who has been exposed to a person with the virus also should stay away from others and get a COVID-19 test, health officials said.
An activity planned throughout Clallam County is the North Olympic Library System (NOLS) Trivia Nights on Zoom.
The first is at 6:30 p.m. Friday and has a Halloween theme.
People can dress up in Halloween finery and participate on Zoom individually or with teams, playing through text, video chat, phone or “perhaps even yelling out your window with your neighbor,” library officials said.
NOLS oversees libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay.
Register at nols.org/trivia-night to receive the Zoom link and information for team play.
Here is a list by town of events planned for Halloween.
• YMCA trick or Treat
PORT ANGELES — The YMCA of Port Angeles will offer trick-or-treating from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.
Participants are urged to dress up in Halloween costumes and pick up goody bags with treats and crafts that can be taken home to enjoy.
This event at 302 S. Francis St., is family-friendly, free, and open to all ages, the YMCA said.
Facial coverings and socially distancing are required.
• Trick or Treat Trail
PORT ANGELES — A drive-through a Trick-or-Treat Trail adventure is planned for the Extreme Sports Park, 2917 W. Edgewood Drive, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Children and parents can enjoy the holiday while in costume from the warmth, comfort and safety of their vehicles.
Themed tents will serve as cruise-by stations for trick-or-treating. Children may see characters from famous movies or even a ramblin’ cowboy.
The event is free and is sponsored by ESP and area businesses.
Donations of candy or monetary donations to purchase candy for the event are sought.
For more information, call or text Kelie Morrison at 360-460-2601 or Jessica Johnson at 360-461-0426.
• Drive-thru Trick or Treat
SEQUIM — The YMCA of Sequim will host a Drive-Thru Trick or Treat event from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Trick or treaters can drive through the parking lot at 675 N. Fifth Ave., with their families to see spooky decorations and pick up healthy treats and small prizes.
Trick or treaters also can walk the route on the sidewalk and then exit along the south property line away from vehicles.
Facial coverings are required when approaching YMCA staff and social-distancing is to be practiced.
For more information, please email Gail Sumpter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOYCE — A Trunk-or-Treat is planned at Crescent School in Joyce from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The socially-distanced event will have trick-or-treating from trunk to trunk in a family-festive atmosphere, organizers said.
• Downtown event
FORKS — West and Business and Professional Association and Forks Chamber of Commerce member businesses will offer merchant trick-or-treating Saturday.
Businesses have decided upon different times for the trick-or-treating, either during business hours or from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For more information, see the chamber website at forkswa.com.
• Fire department
JOYCE — The Forks Fire department will host trick-or-treating starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The fire hall is at 11 Spartan Ave.
• Church event
FORKS — The Forks Assembly of God plans will have a Drive-Thru Truck-or-Treat from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m Saturday.
The drive-thru will be in the church parking lot at 81 Huckleberry Lane.
• Costume contest
PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend Main Street Program will host a virtual costume contest for children in grades K-6.
The deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday.
Winners will be posted on the organization’s social media site.
To participate, parents can submit photos of their children in costume (one each) to email@example.com.
Parents also are asked to include this information for notification purposes: Parent or guardian’s full name; child’s first name; costume description; email address and mailing address.
Submissions also can be shared to social media using #pthalloweenfun.
Those providing photos are giving the organization permission to share them on social media.
For more information, see ptmainstreet.org, or call Mari F. Mullen, executive director, at 360-385-7911.
• Halloween Storytelling
PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County Toastmasters will host free virtual Halloween Storytelling from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday.
Christopher Summitt will present the story of “Haunted Battlefield — Little Big Horn 1985.”
Summitt was the ranger historian at Custer Battlefield in the 1980s during the era of the archaeological surveys.
He was involved with research, official correspondence with other historians, and telling the story of the battle at Little Big Horn.
Little Big Horn has a reputation as one of the most haunted sites in the west.
As Summitt puts it, “the dead are not quiet there.”
Impromptu stories also are planned.