Hartsville plans safer Halloween activities


by Samantha Lyles

While COVID-19 has almost everyone wearing masks to dampen the spread of the virus, the pandemic has also dampened the Halloween spirit by forcing the cancellation of fun holiday events. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still dress up and enjoy the spooky season – just do it with an extra measure of caution.
“We did cancel our Treats on the Streets event. It’s too large of an event to pull off…and everyone thought that since we canceled that, we canceled Halloween, but that is not the case,” says Lauren Baker, Director of Tourism and Communications for the City of Hartsville. “What we did was issue some guidelines for safe trick or treating.”
If you want to go out trick or treating on Oct. 31, Baker says the city doesn’t have a formal start/stop schedule, but they do request that you wrap up your Halloween jaunt by dusk.
“We want people to have a safe – not scary – Halloween,” says Baker.
The city issued this message via Facebook: “It is important to note that not everyone will feel comfortable handing out candy and treats to Hartsville’s children this year and that is okay! Please respect residents as they make the best decisions for their families and only go to homes with the porch light on. Residents, we encourage you to utilize this tool if you do not feel comfortable with trick-or-treaters.”
Follow these tips for safer trick-or-treating:
• Safely distribute individually wrapped candy from a distance if possible.
• Avoid large crowds and stay with your household only.
• Maintain social distancing if around those outside of your household.
• Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and use it often while on the go.
• Avoid large bowls of candy as this is the perfect place for germy hands.
• Wear masks or face coverings. (This one should be EASY to do, it’s Halloween!)
• Another reminder, respect your neighbors and friends. Everyone may not feel comfortable participating in normal Halloween traditions and that is okay. We all look forward to better, brighter, virus-free days in Hartsville in the future!
Additionally, there are several holiday themed events scheduled around Hartsville in the coming days, including a couple designed to safely deliver treats to all those hungry little monsters and heroes.
CareSouth Carolina is holding a drive-thru trick or treat session on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the T.B. Thomas Sports Center. Treats will be given to the first 500 participants, who must remain in their cars at all times. Children must be in the vehicle in order to get treats. To line up, please use Byerly Park’s Russell Road entrance.
Wesley United Methodist Church will also hold a drive-thru Trunk or Treat event on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. All volunteers will be masked and following CDC guidelines to ensure safe transfer of Halloween goodies. Participants are asked to please remain in their vehicles. To line up, enter College Avenue from Fourth Street and follow direction from the Hartsville Police Department officers.
Also of note for those looking to get into the Halloween and autumn spirit, the Wesley UMC pumpkin patch is open each day from noon until 6, offering real pumpkins straight from the patch as well as handmade pumpkins, arts and crafts gourds, and a variety of Red Foxes to show support for Hartsville High School. They are located at 145 East College Avenue. All proceeds fund church mission work.
For updates about holiday events in Hartsville, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hartsvillesc.

Author: Stephan Drew

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