Beloit families work to schedule their own trick or treat event
The city decided not to schedule trick or treat hours this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BELOIT, Wis. (WMTV) - Weeks ahead of Halloween, several towns are changing the way they celebrate because of the pandemic. This year, the City of Beloit is not scheduling trick-or-treating hours.
However, some families are taking the holiday into their own hands, trying to give kids a normal Halloween, while still staying safe.
Kayla Sorensen and her family take Halloween seriously. They already have costumes planned and pumpkins ready to be carved.
“It’s one of my absolute favorite holidays," Sorensen said.
In 2020, the City of Beloit decided not to schedule hours for trick-or-treating, citing state and national health guidelines.
In a statement the city said in part, “The CDC and Wisconsin DHS has recommended avoiding traditional neighborhood Trick or Treat events this year due to COVID-19.”
Sorensen feels like it is unfair, saying the city has allowed other public events to happen.
“I was upset about it,” she said, adding, “Beloit refuses to set hours for [trick-or-treating], but allows stuff like that and the farmer’s market to happen.”
Sorensen also said kids and families need something fun, after the chaos of 2020.
“Our Beloit parks are closed down because of COVID, and you had the kids, they were out of school. Schools were shut down, so they didn’t have any regular, normal life,” she explained.
When another Beloit woman started a Facebook page to set up a safe trick or treat event on Halloween, Sorensen jumped in to help.
“Her and I would talk on the side and figure out okay, what’s going to work best,” Sorensen explained. She said they wanted to make sure they followed public health guidelines to keep everybody safe.
Sorensen said she and other organizers are working on setting up a route to all the houses passing out candy to make sure families know where to go and can maintain social distancing. She said they are encouraging smaller groups and asking everyone to wear masks.
People passing out candy are also trying to find safe ways to do it. Some homeowners are making individually packaged bags of candy, and others are dressing up in costumes that already have masks and gloves.
“We will be handing out candy and we will be using a chute that will be six feet away from all the candy,” said Michael Williams, founder of The Gore Gauntlet.
The Gore Gauntlet is in its fifth year, but this is Williams' first in Beloit. He is getting involved in the trick-or-treating, saying he wants to give kids something to look forward to.
“The parks, the pools, everything in the summer got taken away from them,” he said.
Williams is setting up a haunted house outdoors and said he will be enforcing social distancing.
“I have kids already showing up and asking me what’s in the back,” he said.
Sorensen also said people have been excited to get on board. The Facebook group has grown to 1600 members.
“It was a real big thing for us and the community to just be able to give the kids somewhat of a normal year,” she explained.
NBC15 reached out to the City of Beloit to ask if there would be any consequences for trick or treat events not set up by the city. A spokesperson said the city strongly discourages trick-or-treating due to safety recommendations, but there is no enforcement mechanism.
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