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Your guide to Halloween events in Maine amid COVID-19

Some Maine communities are canceling Halloween events altogether, while others are adapting so kids can still enjoy one of the sweetest days of the year.

MAINE, USA — The U.S. CDC has issued guidance for how to safely celebrate fall events, including Halloween, Día de los Muertos, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday shopping.

The CDC has labeled Halloween activities such as door-to-door trick-or-treating, costume parties, haunted houses, and fall festivals as being “higher risk,” but says some activities are “lower risk.” Those include carving pumpkins and other outdoor events. The CDC is also recommending things like virtual Halloween costumes or movie nights with people in the same household.

The CDC has recommended several modifications to traditional trick-or-treating, which is viewed as a "moderate risk.” The CDC says you can organize "one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab-and-go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)." The "one-way" model is also suggested for haunted forests, where mask use is enforced and more than six feet of distancing is advised. 

Other Halloween ideas from the CDC include holding an outdoor and distant costume parade, or visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where hand sanitizer is used before touching items.

In an effort to still allow families across the state to celebrate Halloween, there are dozens of events happening in Maine over the weekend as alternatives to classic door-to-door trick-or-treating.

"We have the space and ability here to do a safe event, that will allow kids to come get dressed up in a costume and trick or treat," said Portland Sea Dogs general manager Geoff Iacuessa.

The Sea Dogs will be hosting 'Halloween at Hadlock' on Oct. 31. Families will come at specific times to help keep a safe distance between groups for a socially distanced trick or treating.

"We took this year and tried to focus on different ways we could have people come in and make memories with us, even if it wasn't a baseball game," said Iacuessa.

Offering new activities for the holiday has been a trend across the state this month. In Auburn, Bachmann industries will be hosting a drive-thru pumpkin parade with enough prepackaged bags of candy to serve about 1000 people, and more than 60 decorated pumpkins set to be on display.

"Everything is hands free, to make everyone feel safe in the process of trying to do something with their children that will keep it in the spirit of Halloween," Bachmann CFO Terri Earley.

Click here for an interactive Halloween guide from the U.S. CDC.

RELATED: CDC issues Halloween guidance, discourages traditional trick-or-treating

RELATED: 9 percent of Maine's COVID-19 cases have occurred in past 2 weeks, as CDC notes flu season concerns

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah has not yet spoken about Halloween event safety amid the pandemic, but has consistently voiced concerns over the spread of COVID-19 during flu season. 

Some Maine communities are canceling Halloween events altogether, while others are adapting so kids can still enjoy one of the sweetest days of the year.

Note: This is a running list of events that will be continually updated. Do you know of an event or information about your community? Text us the information to 207-828-6622. 

Auburn

  • There will be a drive-thru pumpkin parade from 1-4 p.m. on Halloween. Dress up for the drive-thru pumpkin parade to see the pumpkins decorated by the Bachmann team and their families. As part of the event, treat bags will be handed out (contact-free) for all kids in attendance and will be accepting voluntary donations for the local Boys and Girls Club. Everyone is asked to stay in their vehicle to maintain social distancing.

Augusta

  • The Augusta Downtown Alliance has a drive-thru Halloween event in the works, but details have not yet been released.
  • Movies in the Park(ing Lot): Kick-off the Halloween weekend with a drive-in showing of the Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus." Because of limited space, you will need to reserve a ticket before arriving at the movie. Tickets are $5 per vehicle and come with a free bag of popcorn. Friday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m., Augusta Rail Trail Parking Lot.

Bangor

Bar Harbor

  • Halloween Costume Sale hosted by the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Oct. 31. Plan to get dressed up in your Halloween costume and head out to participating shops for year-end discounts. 
  • Howl-O-Run Virtual 5K: October 17 - 31, run the race at your pace. There will also be a photo contest in conjunction with the 5K for the best costumes.
  • Ghosts of Fort Knox Guided Tours: Skeptics and believers will both enjoy joining the 207 Paranormal Ghost Trackers on an after-hours tour through the dark passages of Fort Knox in search of ghosts and paranormal phenomena. Guests become part of a paranormal investigation using high-tech night vision and sensor equipment to discover what goes bump in the night. Snacks and drinks included. COVID-19 public safety precautions will be in place. Get tickets on Facebook or at www.fortknoxmaine.com.  

Brewer

  • Fright with a Knight Trunk-or-Treat: On Halloween, the Red Knights VI will be in costumes riding through the area before setting up in the Brewer IGA parking lot from 5-7 p.m. (or whenever they run out of candy, whichever comes first) with their saddlebags full of candy. This location will offer plenty of social distancing for families.

China

  • The annual haunted house has been canceled, but a drive-thru Trunk-or-Treat will be held instead. The event, hosted by the China Village Volunteer Fire Department, will be socially distanced and held on Halloween from 5-8 p.m.

Gray/New Gloucester

  • Costume Parade and Trunk-or-Treat: An outdoor event on Halloween at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds, 1-4 p.m. Free and open to the community. Advanced registration required as there is a limit of 100 people at each site at one time.
  • Haunted Pennell Forest Walk: Pennell Park on Halloween, 5-8 p.m. Advanced registration required as there is a limit of 100 people at each site at one time. 

Hallowell

The department says the delivery will follow CDC guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

"We just wanted to give parents who do not want be out and about a fun option," the department said in a Facebook post.

If you live in Hallowell and this sounds like an appealing option for you, be sure to reach out to the police department!

Hampden 

Kennebunk

  • Brick Store Museum 'All Souls' Walk': Due to the coronavirus, the Brick Store Museum's annual All Souls' Walk will be virtual and self-guided. The narrated historical virtual walk begins at the Brick Store Museum at 117 Main Street, Kennebunk, and cover a half-mile loop through Kennebunk’s Hope Cemetery, lasting approximately one hour. Costumed interpreters portray the historical figures, and share their stories of love, loss, and fate. Not too spooky, it’s a perfect activity for the whole family. Participants will virtually visit more than a dozen gravesites and learn local history through the fascinating and often tragic tales of residents from bygone eras. General admission: $5. Oct. 30 and 31. 

Kennebunkport

  • The Halloween Trail of Treats drive-thru event will allow trick-or-treaters and their chaperones to stay safe and sound in their vehicles while traveling through nine themed displays hosted by local businesses and organizations. Participants will receive treats to enjoy as well as a haunting holiday spirit. Beginning Oct. 3, participants can register at kennebunkportrec.com for 15-minute windows during the Trail of Treats, which will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on October 31. There is no charge for the event but donations will be accepted to support Kennebunkport Parks and Recreation activities. Candy donations to support the event are being collected at the Chamber, 16 Water St. in Kennebunk.

Lewiston

  • The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has announced the annual downtown trick or treat will be postponed to October 2021.

Lincoln

The Events and Tourism Committee and the Lincoln Lakes Chamber of Commerce are holding a slew of Halloween events in downtown Lincoln. All of the celebrations below take place on Halloween. 

  • Spooky Selfie Stations and Business Decorating Contest: Selfie stations will be set up around downtown and there will be a decorating contest for businesses. Contact the Lincoln Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce by email at llrcc2@gmail.com to enter.
  • Pumpkin Carving Contest: There will be a people's choice-style pumpkin carving contest from 12-2 p.m. in Veterans Square. People are asked to bring previously carved pumpkins to the contest.
  • Parade: There will a socially-distanced costume parade at 2 p.m. down Maine Street. 
  • Trunk-or-Treat: The third-annual trunk-or-treat this year will comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines. The Trunk-or-Treat will be on Main Street at every other parking space on both sides of the street and "Trunkers" will be masked and wearing gloves to hand out candy. "Treaters" will go through the trunk or treat one way with volunteers making sure everyone is social distancing. 
  • Great Pumpkin Launch: There will be a pumpkin catapult contest at 4 p.m. at Prince Thomas Park. Folks will bring their homemade catapults or trebuchets to the beach and the best overall launch and best design will win a prize.
  • Monster's Ball: Spooky music and socially-distanced fun at Prince Thomas Park from 5-7 p.m.
  • Spooktacular Fireworks Show: To cap off the festivities, there will be a fireworks display at 7 p.m. Stay in your car to watch the big fireworks show, or socially distance around Mattanawcook Pond and downtown. 

Orono

  • Halloween Boo Box Delivery: The town isn't able to host its annual Trunk or Treat event this year due to COVID-19, so instead, the Parks and Recreation Department is making "Boo Boxes." They'll be filled with an assortment of candies and will be delivered on Halloween. In the spirit of Halloween, the town asks that children dress up in their costumes to receive their candy. You must be an Orono resident to sign up for one. The deadline to sign up is Oct. 29.

Portland

The City of Portland says while they don't control or sanction Halloween activities or trick-or-treating, the City does want people to be aware of safety guidelines should families choose to participate in activities. Cumberland County is designated in the yellow zone, which includes a recommendation allowing for trick-or-treating with the following tips:

  • Stay home if sick
  • Trick or treat with people you live with
  • Remain 6 feet away from others in the community
  • Wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth under or over your Halloween costume
  • Use hand sanitizer frequently, especially before eating treats
  • Do not hand out candy if you are sick
  • Wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth
  • Take the Safe House pledge and register as an official Halloween Safe House at Halloween2020.org
  • Use duct tape to mark 6-foot lines leading up to your doorway
  • Position a distribution table between yourself and trick-or-treaters
  • Distribute candy on a disinfected table to eliminate direct contact and avoid anyone reaching into a bowl
  • Wash hands often

Parents should talk with their children about safety precautions and physical distancing, also be sure to wear a face covering over your nose and mouth and inspect all candy before giving it to your children.

In addition to the federal guidelines, the City is encouraging residents to talk with their neighbors about safe ways in which to celebrate, including ways that may not include traditional trick-or-treating if that is preferred. Also, the City would like to remind residents to not leave their outside light on if they do not wish to pass out candy this year.

RELATED: City of Portland shares Halloween guidance

  • Rosemont Neighborhood: The Rosemont Neighborhood Association is asking how residents are planning their Halloween so they can share the ideas and create a walking list for families to go to.
  • Halloween at Hadlock: Join the Portland Sea Dogs for a "Spooktacular" time at Halloween at Hadlock on Halloween from noon to 3 p.m. Fans will be able to safely trick-or-treat around the field and stop for photo opportunities with costumed characters as well as Slugger the Sea Dog and the Trash Monsters. Safety measures in effect. $10 per person.
  • Slugger's Trick-or-Treat Halloween Package: The Sea Dogs are also doing special Halloween deliveries from Slugger that includes a bucket of candy and a Sea Dogs T-shirt. Slugger will make all of the deliveries during the day on Friday, October 30. All deliveries will comply with social distancing guidelines. Delivery locations must be within a 30-mile radius of Hadlock Field. Packages are available for $100 and can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500.

Scarborough

  • ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ Drive-thru: In order to keep everyone safe, participants will drive thru our parking lot from the safety of their vehicles to view a display of trunks and characters. Candy will be handed out from a safe physical distance. Pre-registration is required to secure a time slot.

Union

  • The Union Fair will host its annual "Trail of Terror" at the fairgrounds. COVID-19 guidelines and precautions will be in place: masks are required and social distancing will be enforced. October 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 11. Advance tickets cost $8; same day $10.

Wilton 

  • The town is not promoting door-to-door trick-or-treating but will focus on their annual ‘Trunk or Treat’ event, which has been modified to meet CDC guidelines amid the pandemic. Kids will be able to dress up in their costumes and ride safely inside their parents’ cars. Treaters wearing gloves and masks will come up to the side of each car to hand out candy.

Wiscasset

  • Scarecrowfest 2020: The Wiscasset Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with the Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual fall festival, which features events Oct. 10-18. 

York

  • The Town of York has canceled organized trick-or-treating activities based on CDC recommendations. "Please understand that this was not an easy decision," the Town of York explained. "It was made solely on the basis of the safety of our citizens and visitors alike." Instead, families are encouraged to be creative and try alternative Halloween activities.

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Note: This is a running list of events that will be continually updated. Do you know of an event or information about your community? Text us the information to 207-828-6622.