Trick-or-treating a tricky situation for Manitobans

WINNIPEG — Amid surging COIVD-19 case numbers, Manitobans who are still celebrating Halloween are having to get creative.

Come Monday, the Winnipeg Region will move into critical level red on the Pandemic Response System, and the rest of the province will elevate to orange, but first, Halloween.

Public health officials have set out guidelines for the event, but some parents are still on the fence about taking their kids trick-or-treating.

In Bord-Aire Community Centre’s parking lot, costumed kids are making their rounds at the first-ever Trunk-or-Treat Halloween event.

Annika McPherson and her kids decided to attend, she said this isn’t what they’d normally do for Halloween, but she feels it’s a lot safer.

“We all had hand sanitizers, everyone’s wearing masks, everybody keeps their distance, so it’s not crowded,” said McPherson.

Karen Soares, president of the board of Bord-Aire Community Centre, said they usually do a Halloween movie night in the community centre, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“Just googling ways to do something outside, I came across a poster for a trunk-or-treat somewhere in the states,” she said. “So I put the idea out there to my board and we went with it.”

On Thursday, Mayor Brian Bowman said his family would be staying in this Halloween.

“We will not be having our kids go door to door or handing out candy, which we typically do, and I’m asking parents in Winnipeg to consider doing the same,” he said.

Trick-or-treating is still allowed under current health restrictions.

Public health officials recommend you only trick-or-treat with family, that anyone over the age of two wears a mask, and families keep their distance from other groups.

Knock or call “trick-or-treat” instead of pushing doorbells, use hand sanitizer often, and clean your hands after handling the candy you bring home.

Don Collingradge said he’s been decorating his house for 20 years, and last year he gave out candy to more than 500 kids.

He decided to decorate his home again this year in case kids come out.

“I bought [candy] for a few hundred kids, and if I get it, I get it, if I don’t, I’ll just take the candies back, that’s all,” said Collingradge.

“With COVID-19, I have to be responsible myself. I can’t have 500 kids coming through my yard.”

Collingradge toned down his decorating this year and added a tube to the railing on his front steps so he can hand out candy while keeping his distance.

As for McPherson and her kids, they’re having just as much fun trunk-or-treating. She thinks this activity should be available every year.

“Especially being during the day too, for younger kids, it’s really good, just so you can go and be done.”

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