A night filled with ghosts, ghouls and goblins could paradoxically be the perfect antidote to a year full of anxiety for families trying to celebrate Halloween in the midst of a pandemic.
And that’s exactly what valley merchants and the cities of North Bend, Snoqualmie and Fall City are trying to pull off this year, with an eye to safety of course. The group is planning on hosting a Quarantine-O-Ween complete with candy stops provided by local businesses in the three cities, along with a scavenger hunt.
The tri-city event will be held on Halloween, naturally, from noon to 6 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear their masks and costumes. Candy bags will be available throughout the cities and maps will be released closer to the event.
More than 20 “Fall Fox” symbols will be hidden throughout each town too, and participants who find all of them during the scavenger hunt will be entered into a drawing to win a prize.
And even though participants should wear masks and maintain social distancing guidelines, Marsha Harris, owner of Snoqualmie Falls Candy Shoppe, said it’s a chance for people to return to a sense of normalcy.
“I think it’s very important … that we try to do something to keep the momentum of the spirit of things going during this time. To give the community and the kids and the folks something to do that’s not necessarily an event, but it’s still holiday themed, and keeps the focus on our downtown,” Harris said.
Beth Burrows, owner of the North Bend Theatre, also has been heavily involved in planning the event. With health agencies recommending against traditional trick-or-treating, she knew a business-as-usual plan would be a disaster. But she’s hopeful that the Halloween trek will bring some smiles to folks in the valley.
“I think it’ll be pretty festive,” Burrows said. “Everybody is going to decorate. It will be nice.”
The planning team has been flexing their creative muscles, figuring out ways to celebrate while keeping everyone safe. The lessons they’re learning will likely be applied to Christmas celebrations too.
And the businesses involved aren’t charging fees. Burrows said it’s all about the community, and putting on something that everyone can enjoy.
“We can’t reconnect in the way that we always have. But we can at least see each other and enjoy an event together separately,” Burrows said.