Camden County town discourages trick-or-treating this year; won’t outright ban it
The mayor of a Camden County town is discouraging his residents from trick-or-treating this year because of COVID-19 concerns, but he stopped short of an outright ban.
Halloween is typically a big deal in Merchantville, as the town transforms for the spooky holiday.
“A play on the name Merchantville, we decided to call the town ‘Monsterville’ during the month of October to celebrate Halloween,” says Mayor Ted Brennan.
But Brennan says that this year may not be the best year to go door to door seeking treats.
“Because of our beautiful tree-lined streets and houses right next to each other, we get a lot of people who come to certain areas of our town for trick-or-treating,” he says.
Brennan says that one of the main reasons that the town decided to strongly discourage trick-or-treating rather than banning it is a lack of resources.
“To ask our police officers or anybody to go out there and try to enforce a ban on trick-or-treating just didn’t seem realistic,” he says. “We also felt that there’s a subset of the community that feels comfortable participating in Halloween here in ‘Monsterville.’ We wanted them to have the opportunity to continue to do that.”
The mayor says that certain Halloween traditions will continue to take place in the town like the annual house decorating competition and the eighth grade production. That production is usually a haunted house, but it is now a socially distant parade.
Brennan says that Halloween will return in full force for the next year.
“Our motto will be, ‘Double the candy in 2021,’” he says.
New Jersey has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. State officials announced 1,182 new positive cases of the virus on Thursday.