Montgomery Co. offers alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Halloween had been called off. 

If you are planning to take the kids trick-or-treating this year, Montgomery County’s health officer is urging you to call off door-to-door candy collecting in the Maryland county this year.

Dr. Travis Gayles, the county’s health officer, doesn’t want to see coronavirus spread as people come to close each other.

“You are encountering multiple people outside of your network,” he said.

In Montgomery County this year, you won’t see large-scale Halloween events, such as haunted houses, festivals or live entertainment, unless those activities are granted a letter of approval from the health department.

“We’re not permitting Halloween in the traditional sense in terms of carnivals, festivals [or] large social gatherings outside of the 50 people social capacity limit that we have in place,” Gayles said.

The county is out with a list of activities that could be alternatives.

Here’s what’s on the list from the county:

  • Online parties/contests (e.g. costume or pumpkin carving);
  • Decorating homes, yards and neighborhoods with Halloween-themed decorations;
  • Car parades such as:
    • Drive-by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive by “judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
    • Drive-in or drive-through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays. Participants can receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged nonperishable treats) or other takeaway item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle
  • Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters (must comply with the public health drive-in movie theater guidance);
  • Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants (must comply with the restaurant protocol); and
  • Halloween-themed art installations at an outdoor museum (must comply with the public health museum guidance).


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

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Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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