By Zach Hester, Reporter • firstname.lastname@example.org
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce has announced the cancellation of this year's Halloween Block Party.
"This was a tough decision, but we know our sweet community will understand," the Chamber said via a statement on Facebook. "Next year will hopefully be the best yet!"
"While we hear our community and understand the Halloween Block Party is a great event for our community, and is loved by many, Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce had to make a tough decision to cancel the Halloween Block Party this year," said Jennifer McCurdy, Executive Director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. "Our local business community provides candy at no charge to the community, and several businesses were unable to participate this year, due to company policy regarding COVID. Additionally, we felt pulling together such a crowd was not safe nor recommended by the CDC."
The cancellation comes as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidelines regarding typical Halloween festivities like trick-or-treating and crowded costume parties.
"Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses," the CDC via their website. "There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween."
The CDC puts its Halloween guidelines into three separate categories: low, moderate, and high risk.
- High Risk: door-to-door trick-or-treating and events like trunk-r-treats where children get candy in a large group of people, indoor haunted houses, hayrides with people who aren't in your household
- Moderate Risk: trick-or-treating via picking up bagged candy at the end of driveways or yards while preserving social distancing measures, small outdoor costume parades or parties with masks and social distancing, haunted forests, apple or pumpkin picking, outdoor movie nights
- Low Risk: carving pumpkins in your households or outdoors with friends, Halloween scavenger hunts
The CDC stated a costume mask is not a substitute for a traditional face mask but advised that citizens should not double up and impede their ability to breathe.