What is your town doing for Halloween?

  • A pumpkin patch off Lower Road in Deerfield. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

Published: 10/26/2020 5:15:18 PM

Editor’s Note: Please feel free to contact us at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or news@recorder.com if an event was omitted from this lineup.

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) has released a list of health safety tips at frcog.org/halloween-guidance for those participating in trick-or-treating or alternative events this year. FRCOG Health Agent Randy Crochier noted Halloween often sees residents travel to other towns to trick-or-treat. However, health officials are encouraging residents to remain in their hometowns for Halloween this year.

“Stay home, or stay close to home,” Crochier said.

Below is a list of Halloween protocols and events in Franklin County.

Ashfield: While trick-or-treating is permitted, the town asks that residents follow the safety guidelines released by FRCOG. The Lions Club Rag Shag Parade is canceled. In its place, the Ashfield Lions Club, Neighbors Convenience Store, Ashfield Hardware, Ashfield Police Department, Ashfield Fire Department, Board of Health, individual residents and the Highway Department have teamed up for a townwide pumpkin carving and lighting event.

Starting at noon on Oct. 24, the Main Street sidewalks will be lined with 200 donated pumpkins. Any family needing one is invited to take one home to carve. Residents can return the carved pumpkins to Town Hall after 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. A police officer will direct vehicles. A volunteer will take the pumpkin in exchange for a Halloween goodie bag, put a tea light inside it and place it on the steps of Town Hall to be lit at 6:30 p.m.

Bernardston: The Board of Health voted to prohibit door-to-door trick-or-treating in town this year, a decision that was supported by the Selectboard. Instead, the Bernardston Kiwanis Club and other organizations are offering a “Halloween Drive-Thru” at the United Church of Bernardston from 4 to 6 p.m.

Buckland: There are no prohibitions on Halloween this year by the town, but organized events, including the Rag Shag Parade and Firefighters’ Association candy handout have been canceled. Instead, the Mohawk Trail Equity Alliance at Mohawk Trail Regional School is hosting a DIY scarecrow contest at the school. Scarecrows will be on display starting Thursday, Oct. 29, at 5 p.m. through the morning of Nov. 1. Scarecrows will be illuminated in the evenings for drive-by viewing.

Charlemont: No special guidance on celebrating Halloween has been issued by the Selectboard. However, residents who may be celebrating are encouraged to use their best judgment, according to Town Clerk Kathy Reynolds.

Colrain: The Colrain Fire Department, Colrain Ambulance and Colrain Police Department will hold a “truck or treat” event at the Fire Station on Oct. 31, from 2 to 6 p.m. All Colrain children through sixth grade are invited to attend in costume. Masks are required. Time slots will be set up and residents are asked to send an email by Friday, Oct. 30, to be assigned a slot. Email Agauthier10@hotmail.com with your child’s name and age, and any food allergy information.

Trick-or-treating is not prohibited, but the Board of Health asks any resident participating to follow FRCOG’s health safety guidelines.

Conway: There will be no Rag Shag Parade or costume contest. Residents who wish to trick-or-treat are advised to follow FRCOG’s safety tips.

Deerfield: Residents who wish to trick-or-treat are advised to follow FRCOG’s safety tips.

Erving: Trick-or-treating is not prohibited, but residents are advised to observe health safety guidelines.

Gill: Trick-or-treating is not prohibited, but residents are advised to observe health safety guidelines.

Greenfield: The city’s Recreation Department is hosting Halloween at Highland, a contactless drive-thru experience in Highland Park from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. Vehicles will line up on Highland Avenue and enter the park there. The ¾-mile ride will include decorated stations. Treat bags will be distributed to the first 2,000 children. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume and must stay in their vehicles at all times. The speed limit is 5 mph. Masks are required for all attendees.

Hawley: No special guidance on celebrating Halloween has been given by the town. Town Clerk Pamela Shrimpton said that, because houses are so far apart, there is usually no trick-or-treating anyway. “It’s not really an issue here,” she said.

Heath: The town is continuing its “organized” trick-or-treating. A parent at Hawlemont Regional Elementary School has been gathering names of families who want to go trick-or-treating and those who will provide treats. This week people who have signed up will learn where the “treaters” are. Everyone must wear real masks, as well as Halloween masks. The town is also asking those handing out candy to wear gloves. People should not plan anything indoors. Family groups and individuals must stay at least 6 feet away from others and outside groups cannot consist of more than 50 people.

Leverett: People are invited on a Halloween Story Walk during curbside hours from Oct. 28 to 31. Walk the Leverett Trail behind the library to enjoy a classic children’s story, “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” by Linda Williams. Be sure to stop by the library’s front door for a treat.

Leyden: The Robertson Memorial Library, Recreation Committee, Police Department, Fire Association and Rifle Club are partnering for a drive-thru event at the Town Office building, 7 Brattleboro Road, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume. They are asked to keep their masks on and stay in their vehicles while waiting in line.

Montague: The Rag Shag Parade has been canceled. Residents who may be celebrating Halloween are reminded to follow health safety guidelines. In Montague Center, residents of North Street have announced they will not partake in trick-or-treating.

“We urge everyone to adhere to the wishes of the individual homeowner and respect their decision,” said Ann Fisk, president of the Montague Center Firefighters Association.

New Salem: The town has canceled all town-sponsored events. The Board of Health would prefer if residents do not go trick-or-treating.

Northfield: The Selectboard approved trick-or-treating in town, but asks residents to follow health safety guidelines. Candy should be dispensed by the resident only (while wearing gloves). Residents are encouraged to participate in “one-way trick-or-treating” where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for trick-or-treaters to grab as they pass by. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags. Northfield EMS announced it will not participate as a destination in this year’s trick-or-treating “out of an abundance of caution.”

Orange: The town is allowing trick-or-treating from 5 to 8 p.m. on Halloween.

Shelburne Falls: Residents along Main, Bridge, Mechanic and other downtown streets have decided not to participate. Town officials say 70 to 80 percent of people surveyed will not hand out candy. The Rag Shag Parade and Halloween Party at the grange have been canceled.

Shutesbury: The Selectboard canceled trick-or-treating. But M.N. Spear Memorial Library Director Mary Anne Antonellis said the library has teamed up with the Parent-Teacher Organization, the Fire Department and the Police Department to organize a socially-distanced Halloween costume parade on Oct. 31. Children in grades three and under will be welcomed to the elementary school track at 5 p.m. and older kids will be welcomed at 6 p.m. Masks must be worn and people who feel sick are asked to stay home.

Sunderland: The Board of Health recommended there be no town-sponsored Halloween events, such as the library’s scavenger hunt. It also recommended that residents participate in activities identified as “lower risk” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include carving or decorating pumpkins, having a virtual dinner with family friends or watching a movie.

Warwick: The Selectboard and Board of Health had made no formal announcement regarding Halloween by press time on Monday.

Whately: Halloween guidance provided by the CDC has been posted to the website. Residents are advised to turn off outdoor lights to signal they don’t wish to participate in trick-or-treating this year.


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