Mayors in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark say OK to trick-to-treating safely, despite recommendation from health unit to stay home

BROCKVILLE — The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit does not recommend door-to-door trick-or-treating on Halloween, but local mayors will not stop anyone who decides to go out on Saturday night.

“We are not taking that hard of line on it here,” said Prescott Mayor Brett Todd.

“It’s an individual’s choice and we are hoping that people enjoy Halloween in a safe and responsible manor this year. I’ve made it clear all the long I would never even try to do something like that.”

Todd adds, “We will be giving out candy at our own front door again this year in a safe non-contactless way, but we’re going to be doing it.”

The town also has also come up with other ways for children to enjoy the season and get that sweet candy.

“We’ve done some virtual Halloween, some things online. We’re doing a scavenger hunt at downtown businesses. We’ve got 30 downtown businesses involved in that,” said Todd.

Rules and regulations for the scavenger hunt can be found on the Prescott website. Todd says families also registered this week to have a loot bag dropped off on Friday and Saturday filled with candy and activities for children.

“We’re just trying to make sure the Halloween spirit is out there even for those people who don’t feel safe enough and don’t want to have their kids do the traditional door to door trick or treating,” said Todd.

In Brockville, Mayor Jason Baker says it’s also up to families if they want to head out on Halloween.

“We’re allowing families to make choices for themselves on both ends of the trick-or-treating spectrum. So if you’re wondering if your child is safe to go out, that is a decision your family gets to make here in the city,” Baker said at City Hall on Friday

“The event is about our mental health of our community as well, especially our young children,” said Baker.

“Everything in their life is turned upside down and they don’t understand the reasons why all the time, so keeping a little bit of normalcy is important to make sure that we all continue to focus on the things we need to do to get through this pandemic,” Baker added.

“Halloween is a great time. I remember fondly as a child and the last thing we want to do is take these memories away from families who are going through it now,” Baker said.

“Be safe, enjoy yourselves and get a great haul of candy out there.”

Sam Cowan from the Downtown Brockville BIA says stores will also be giving out candy to children throughout the day

“On Saturday, the roads are going to be closed. It is one of our Space to Shop Saturdays, so perfectly aligned with Halloween and we’re going to be doing trick-or-treating downtown,” Cowan said.

A live stream will also be running on Saturday evening, hosting a painting class and trivia.

Other towns in the region like Smiths Falls, Kemptville and Gananoque have also said children are allowed to trick-or-treat door-to-door. Westport has announced there will be no trick-or-treating on Saturday.

Print off posters are also available on the local health unit website and the province of Ontario website, to let families know if candy is being offered at your house. 

The LGL Health Unit tweeted on Friday that if you choose to trick-or-treat, to stay in your own neighbourhood.

“Just be safe,” said Todd. “Take precautions, the contactless thing is key, wear a mask, just limit your exposure to people and just do the best you can to stay safe. We’re all in this together.”

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