Virus doesn’t scare off Halloween plans

  • Halloween is coming on Saturday this year
    Halloween is coming on Saturday this year

After many cancellations and disruptions due to the COVID-19 virus this year, children and adults can take heart that Halloween events are happening in Ouray County. Both Ouray and Ridgway elementary schools will allow students to come to school in a costume on Friday, Oct. 30.

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, meaning there is no worry about candy hangovers at school the next day. Children can eat all their proceeds from trick-or-treating down Main Street in Ouray and sleep in on Sunday morning. Several businesses plan on handing out candy from 4 to 6 p.m. on Halloween.

Some locations on Main Street in Ouray have gotten extra creative this year on how they will socially distance while dispersing candy.  

The Elks Lodge at 421 Main St. isn’t having its traditional haunted house this year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be candy. The lodge is installing a candy chute from the top of the stairs outside of the historic building. Individually wrapped and sealed bags of candy will be sent down a PVC pipe protected by hay bales to keep the candy from flying into the street. Volunteers will be standing by before 5 p.m. on Halloween ready to shoot candy at trick-or-treaters.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy in Ouray is offering a “community pumpkin patch” where people can come grab a free pumpkin from outside the building at 801 Main St., bring it home, carve it and return it to put on display. The best pumpkin carver wins $25.

O’Toys at 229 Sixth Ave. is hosting a costume contest. Young and old are invited to come into the store between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Halloween day to sign a waiver and have their picture taken for the online contest. Categories and prizes are still to be determined, but there will be multiple winners, store owner Heather Smith said. The store will also welcome trick-or-treaters.

The 1984 classic movie Ghostbusters will play at the Wright Opera House in Ouray on Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.

Local Ridgway resident Mae Collier posted on Facebook inviting the community to her Halloween maze at 295 S. Mary St. with the entrance through a large gate on Moffat Street. Collier said the maze will be no contact, and candy will be in gift bags at the end of the maze.

“Come ready to be terrified!” Collier wrote.

Trick-or-treating is not restricted in Ridgway, according to Marshal Shane Schmalz.

Schmalz told the Plaindealer that residents should expect officials with the Town of Ridgway to publicize some safety guidelines for a safe Halloween, but no mandates are in place. Ouray City Councilors also discussed Halloween events earlier this month, opting to advise participants to use protocols described by health officials to minimize risk.


• Door-to-door trick-or-treating involves mixing lots of different households at close range. When you open your door to hand out candy, you are unlikely to be able to keep at least 6 feet of distance.

• Door-to-door trick-or-treating means lots of closer interactions over a short period of time. Taken together, these may raise the risk of COVID-19 spread.

• It can be hard not to mingle with friends and neighbors. Even if you intend not to interact, by being out and about, it may be hard to avoid.

• Communicate with your neighbors to plan trick-or-treating this year. Get creative, and figure out ways to hand out candy wh ile keeping approp riate distance. For exam ple:

• Line up individually wrapped treats at the end of the driveway or yard's edge. Watch the fun, and enjoy the costumes from a distance.

• Use a plastic slide, cardboard tubes, or plastic pipes to deliver candy from a distance.

• Take kids on an outdoor, distanced treasure hunt to look for candy or Halloween-themed items.

Whatever form your trick-or-treating takes, it's safest to:

• Stay in your own neighborhood.

• Have adults accompany trick-or-treaters to help them follow precautions.

• Stay with your household members. Avoid mingling with groups from other households; stay at least 6 feet away from non-household members.

• If going door-to-door, limit the time you spend at doorways.

• Whether you're trick-or-treating or handing out candy, keep your masks on -- save the candy eating for when you return home!

Costume masks vs. COVID-19 masks

• Costume masks are not a substitute for masks that protect against COVID-19 spread. Masks that protect against COVID-19, should be made from two or more breathable fabric layers that cover the nose and mouth, with no gaps around the face. Wear non-costume masks when indoors with non-household contacts and outdoors whenever 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.

• If wearing a costu me mask over a cloth mask makes it hard to breathe, consider a Halloween-themed cloth mask as part of the costume instead.

• While the state mask order applies to indoor settings only, specific counties may have outdoor mask orders.

• Kids age 10 years and younger are not required to wear a mask, but we recommend everyone 3 years and older wear one, unless they cannot medically tolerate it.

Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment