DANBURY — Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween in the Danbury area may be a bit more lively this year than last.
As long as the city’s COVID numbers stay where they are, Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo said, “Halloween is on in Danbury.”
To prevent COVID spread, Danbury city officials encouraged residents to leave candy outside their homes last Halloween and the popular trick-or-treating destination, Deer Hill Avenue — which usually gets thousands of trick-or-treaters — was shut down.
Although it’s unclear whether Deer Hill will be closed again this Halloween — Cavo said city officials “still have to evaluate the situation” — residents are encouraged to take part in outdoor activities this Halloween while following health protocols.
“Do your best to be socially distanced, wash your hands often and follow all the precautions we’ve been taking,” Cavo said. “We want everybody to have a safe and happy Halloween.”
He said the city of Danbury will hold Halloween on the Green on Oct. 30, and there will be an event at the Danbury Fair Mall on Oct. 31, with participating stores handing out candy.
Top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci has deemed outdoor trick-or-treating to be safe with nationwide COVID cases on the decline.
Fauci said in a CNN interview Sunday that Halloween is an important time of year and children should “go out there” and “enjoy it.”
Danbury won’t be alone in hosting Halloween festivities this year — a number of area towns plan to as well.
“As we did last year, Bethel will issue guidance for parents, but the decision to allow their kids to go trick-or-treating is left to them,” Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said.
The Bethel Chamber of Commerce is planning to sponsor a Trick or Treat Street event on Oct. 30. The event on Greenwood Avenue will take place from 1 to 3 p.m., and end with a costume contest at the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center.
Brookfield will hold a two-hour trunk-or-treat event Oct. 30, at Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department headquarters on Pocono Road beginning at 5 p.m.
There will be contests with prizes awarded for best costume, best trunk decorations and best pumpkin carving, and food available for purchase throughout the event.
People are also invited to drop off carved pumpkins at the station between 10 a.m. and noon to have them featured during the event.
New Fairfield First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says the town doesn’t have “any recommendations for Halloween,” but will host its annual Trick or Treats Fest on Oct. 22, during which trick-or-treaters can visit participating businesses for treats and Halloween activities.
Sherman’s first selectman, Don Lowe, said his town is not discouraging trick-or-treating, nor is he “personally against it in 2021.”
“I just ask that people be sensible and avoid close contact with each other,” he said. “Our recommended way is for residents to leave candy out for the trick-or-treaters to access rather than to knock on the door and have contact with each other.”
Scouts in Sherman will sponsor a Halloween event on the green in front of Mallory Town Hall and Sherman Playhouse, featuring booths, games, costumes and trick-or-treating opportunities.
Lowe said it was a “drive-by”last year due to COVID, but is currently planned to be an in-person event this year running from 5 to 8 p.m.
New Milford Mayor Pete Bass said his town has a few Halloween events lined up.
On Oct. 31, he said the town will host a five-hour Halloween on the Green event beginning at 11 a.m., a Halloween parade through town beginning at 3 p.m., and two hours of trunk-or-treating on the town green beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Bass said he’s encouraging residents to “use common sense and stay safe by following the CDC guidelines” this Halloween.
“Wear masks if they’re going into enclosed areas, keep safe distances from others if they’re going to be outside and step back if they’re going to be knocking on people’s doors,” he said.