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County trick-or-treat scheduled for Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Despite the pandemic’s grasp on a sense of normalcy, children of all ages will be able to participate in trick-or-treating this year in Harlan County. 

Halloween trick-or-treating hours were set from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 by the Harlan County Fiscal Court.

“This time will allow for trick-or-treating to take place in the daylight hours so that it’s easier for those that participate to see and be visible to vehicles moving around in communities. This is possible this year due to Halloween falling on Saturday,” said Judge-Executive Dan Mosley in his announcement of the court’s decision.

Mosley said the season is much different this year compared to others because of the coronavirus and the impact it’s had on community gatherings, especially where children are involved.

“I realize some parents will want their kids to participate and some won’t. I realize some will want to give out candy and some won’t. Do what you feel is safe and best for your own individual situation,” he said.

Two recommendations were also made from Mosley, which included asking the sick to not participate and stay home and steps to take if you are at high-risk of contracting COVID-19.

“If you are vulnerable to COVID-19 and you still want to give out candy, place a table at the edge of your fence, property or door and leave the candy on it for trick-or-treaters to pick up. We should all consider doing this anyway,” he said.

Recommended guidelines are also in place from the Kentucky Department for Public Health to remind locals to wear a face mask/covering, sanitize their hands often and maintain six feet of distance from one another.

Other recommendations for trick-or-treating safely include: 

  • Always wear a face covering. Halloween masks do not count as a face covering;
  • Clean hands before and after touching wrapped candy;
  • Trick-or-treat in family groups and don’t congregate in large groups;
  • Trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood. Do not travel to other neighborhoods;
  • Use hand sanitizer often, especially after contacting frequently-touched surfaces and before eating anything.

The Department for Public Health provided safe alternatives for families wishing to celebrate Halloween another way, as well, noting pumpkin carving, decorating, virtual costume contests, Halloween movies, scavenger hunting for treats at home and drive-by costume/car-decorating contests are all safe alternatives to trick-or-treating.

Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, costume parties, haunted houses, hayrides and other large events are considered high-risk activities and should be avoided, according to the state.

“If you do participate in Halloween this year, please review the recommended guidelines to allow for Halloween to be celebrated as safely as possible, but also to ensure that we don’t have an outbreak as a result of this holiday many kids and adults enjoy,” Mosley said. 

For more information on Halloween in Harlan County, contact the judge-executive’s office at 606-573-2600.