COVID-19 spoils Halloween festivities for some Middle Tennessee neighborhoods

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Many neighborhoods are considering changes ahead of Halloween, while some are even canceling their trick or treat traditions because of COVID-19.

Rutherford County officials have called off the annual trick or treat in the Murfreesboro square, an event that typically draws hundreds if not thousands out every year. 

“We, unfortunately, had to make the decision to cancel,” said Ashley McDonald, PIO, and Programs Coordinator of Rutherford County. 

For more than a decade stores like Sugaree’s have been passing out candy to masked little ones in the Murfreesboro square.

“The owner mentioned that this event brings about 1,000 kids to the square, kids lining up out the doors to get candy and show off their costumes and have a really great time. It’s supposed to be a great community event,” said Caetlin Hayes, Sugaree’s sales associate.

A fun community event, but a bit too scary for city officials to encourage crowds to gather right now.

“That’s a big concern, there’s just too many unknowns right now,” said McDonald.

Square on Murfreesboro’s Main Street (WKRN)

With those unknowns lurking, the decision to call trick-or-treating off in the Murfreesboro square is one that those News 2 spoke with support.

“I think it’s the right decision, the smart decision. It’s responsible and it’s cautious. Kids are so vulnerable right now, they are the most vulnerable so it’s important you know. It’s important to keep them in mind,” Hayes explained. 

However, there may be more tricks than treats this year. Some large “trunk or treat” events have been cancelled, while cautious parents look at other options like hiding candy at their home.

“I think this year we are going to see people having smaller get togethers, a lot of families getting together trying to do stuff you know trying to be safe and cautious,” said Hayes.

Officials in the town of Smyrna saying they don’t regulate trick or treat festivities, but suggests children over the age of 2 wear a mask, limit the number of homes you visit and consider leaving individual baggies on your porch for trick or treaters so hopefully next year won’t look so scary.

“Our hearts go out to everybody that’s suffering through these changes but we just want to make sure that everybody can stay safe and hopefully 2021 will be a much better year and we can start having these events again,” McDonald explained. 

The 7th annual Trick or Treat in Celina has also been cancelled. While officials in Gallatin told News 2 that they still plan to have their annual trick or treat event in the square.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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