Celebrating Halloween During A Pandemic

Veronica Lloyd

As we approach Halloween – one of the most notorious holidays of the year, people all over the U.S. must find ways to celebrate the event amidst the current COVID crisis. There are myriad ways to spend this spooky season. Horror movie marathons, going to a local pumpkin patch or corn maze are just a few. The elaborate themed Halloween parties will just have to wait till next year but that doesn’t mean the end of some spooky season fun. How are organizations like the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms and the Ralston Valley community doing things for the holiday differently this year? 


Due to safety restrictions, the way many Halloween based organizations conduct their activities appears to be a little different in 2020. Many must be conscious of keeping their capacity low and enforcing mask usage for the events. One of these organizations is the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms – a popular pumpkin hot spot in the Jeffco area. Chatfield usually has a three day Pumpkin festival which draws in around 45,000 participants. This year they opted for an open patch format for the entire month of October to ensure the safety of their visitors. Referring to their specific regulations for the pumpkin patch and corn maze activities, a volunteer coordinator, Marissa Page, said, “We only allow a certain amount of people in per hour or half-hour depending on the event” in addition to moving ticket purchases online. 


The farm utilizes their profits from these popular events to conduct a multitude of projects that stimulate the community. They proudly donate other crops the farm grows to resources like Denver Human Services so that food stamps can be traded for their fresh grown produce. Additionally, they collaborate with the Community Supporting Agriculture program and jump started a Veterans Program at the location. Trystan Popish, another volunteer coordinator said, “When people come to an event they’re really supporting a lot more than just having a good time and being able to get out of the house during COVID.” While people may be hesitant to participate in some Halloween themed activities, many organizations like Chatfield are actively prioritizing safety and it ends up benefiting the surrounding community as well!


The Ralston Valley community has also sought ways to celebrate this spooky season while abiding by the restrictions. As far as the month’s general activities go, junior Katie Baxter said, “I probably would have been doing more seasonal things with friends so far like pumpkin carving or making pies” but confirmed she would be attending a pumpkin patch this year. Many members of the RV community have faced similar situations of decreasing the volume of activities they usually participate in; however, nostalgic horror movie nights and carving pumpkins prevail in this year’s list of activities for Halloween fun. 


On the night of the notorious holiday, many in the RV area still plan to help siblings go Trick or Treating. As far as the activity goes this year, another junior Sofia Brown, said she definitely would be, “but with masks and social distancing.” The fundamental activity of Trick or Treating is still, as of now, approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with proper care to abide by the general guidelines. Overall, the student body at Ralston Valley has definitely felt the impact of COVID this year with changes to their education and available events, but they won’t let it get in the way of celebrating this holiday!


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