Safety first at Forest Grove's Trick or Treat the Merchants
Forest Grove's downtown Halloween event might look a little different this year, but fear not: The kids will still get their candy.
"Trick or Treat the Merchants" is slated for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, on Main Street from Pacific Avenue to 21st Avenue, and on 21st Avenue from A Street to College Way.
Like in years past, merchants along the designated pathway will hand out candy to local ghouls and goblins, but unlike the Halloweens of yesteryear, the costume-cloaked kids won't be the only ones wearing masks.
"Similarly, the idea is to give candy out to the kids," Forest Grove economic development manager Jeff King said. "The difference is that people need to sign up for a slot, because we want to stay within the Oregon Health Authority guidelines in order to limit the number of people within the event."
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids and their parents will need to reserve a time slot to gain entrance to the event. Reservations are every 15 minutes, with 85 people per time slot.
Masks and social distancing will be required, and merchants will be working from street tents to keep the activity outdoors.
The event is being sponsored by the City Club of Forest Grove and is being partially funded by a "Mental Health & Community Psyche" grant from Washington County, which will help pay for masks and sanitizer, along with some marketing and most of the candy, per King.
"All we're really asking the businesses to do, is from 12 to 4, essentially take a shift to give out some of the candy, and supplement if we do run out," he said.
King also said that organizers plan to keep the kids moving, and doing so in one direction so that they make a big loop without crossing paths.
Mental Health & Community Psyche grants are being disbursed by Washington County iwth funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress earlier this year.
The grants help fund community, group or individual events and activities in accordance with public health guidance. The programs it pays for are intended to boost community spirit and morale.
"It really allows communities to be able to do some socially distanced events in the midst of this obviously tough time," King said. "Obviously a lot of events have been canceled, and there are some that cost more because of the COVID requirements, but this allows them to be staged due to these grants."
Such grants could be used for events like the Corn Roast, Chalk Art, or even the upcoming community Christmas tree lighting, which King said has yet to be fully figured out.
If your family is interested in participating in this year's Trick or Treat the Merchants, information can be found and reservations can be made at www.cityclubfg.com.
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