Annette Mumford, a firefighter with the Border City Fire Department, has eight grandchildren — three of whom couldn’t celebrate “normal” birthdays this year because of the COVID pandemic.
She wanted to make Halloween a little different. So she enlisted her colleagues at the fire department to host a drive-through trick or treating event from 5-8 p.m. Oct. 31 at the firehouse, 3000 Fallbrook St.
“It’s mostly because of COVID and to give the kids some normalcy,” she said. “And of all the years it falls on a Saturday; what kid wouldn’t love that?”
The event is also sponsored by North Seneca Ambulance and Finger Lakes Ambulance. Organizers are accepting monetary donations, which can be mailed to P.O. Box 850, Geneva, NY 14456, as well as candy donations (call Mumford at 315-521-0404 to arrange pickup or drop-off).
Vehicles are asked to approach the Border City Fire Department from Moore Street off of Pre-Emption and exit on Fallbrook Street. Volunteers will be handing out candy and be wearing masks and gloves so families don’t have to exit their vehicles.
“All they have to do is hang their bag out the window,” Mumford said.
In Seneca Falls, the traditional downtown trick-or-treating co-sponsored by the Seneca Falls Community Center and Seneca Falls Downtown Business Association has been moved to People’s Park this year.
Community Center Director Jim Spina said he spoke with downtown shop owners about tweaking the annual event for Seneca Falls residents. They were understandably nervous about having a large number of visitors in their stores and Spina himself said the Community Center was wary of holding its usual post-trick-or-treating event in the gym; in the past it’s attracted about 200 people. Gathering outside at People’s Park was the logical compromise.
From 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the Water Street park, tables will be set up and businesses will still be distributing candy, Spina said. But there will only be one way in and one way out of the park, temperatures will be checked and only one family will be allowed to visit a table at a time. Volunteers will be on hand to help maintain social distancing.
Participants are asked to pre-register at (315) 568-6933 by Monday for contact tracing purposes, but Spina said no one will be turned away on Halloween.
In Phelps, a “trunk-or-treat” event has been held at the Phelps Community Center for about seven years, according to Executive Director Janie Burgess. It was originally organized as a safe and manageable introduction to trick-or-treating for younger children and their families. Individual and business volunteers decorate their cars, open their trunks and hand out candy. Over the years, the event has attracted a wider age range of kids, she said.
This year’s Trunk or Treat will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 in the community center parking lot, 8 Banta St. Burgess said so far 16 cars are registered, but she expects more. Those interested in decorating their vehicles and handing out candy should contact Burgess at email@example.com. Masks are required.
Though Trunk or Treat isn’t new, COVID could make it more attractive for some families.
“We have no idea what to expect this year,” she said.
Also in Geneva, local Lodge 2397 of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America will be hosting a Trick or Treat Drive Through event on Saturday from 5-6 p.m. in the lodge parking lot at 31 Prospect Ave. Lodge members can drive up with their children or grandchildren, and a costumed character will bring bagged candy to the car. Children that live nearby may walk up, and children of residents in Wards 5 and 6 also are welcome to stop by.