COVID-19 + Halloween: How Tigard Responds

It’s that time of year again. When the leaves begin to change color, pumpkins come fresh off the patch and Halloween is right around the corner. So bust out those festive costumes and prepare to go door-to-door expecting sugary goodness, right? Well, not quite.

This year, to avoid the possible spread of COVID-19, the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are urging the public to avoid traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, “Trunk or Treating” and other possibly crowded Halloween events.

“This year, it’s more important than ever to put safety first because COVID-19 cases have risen recently and holiday gatherings on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day led to increased case counts,” OHA wrote in an Oct. 1 statement.

So, maybe costume parties and haunted houses won’t be a possibility this year. But there are still other possible alternatives that will allow you to enjoy the holiday.

Low Risk:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside with members of your household, or at a safe distance with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your living space
  • Halloween scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search around your home
  • Halloween movie night with members of your household

Moderate Risk:

  • One-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are laid outside
  • Outdoor costume party, where distancing can be maintained and cloth masks worn
  • Going to an open-air, one-way walk-through haunted forest
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards while maintaining distance

Many community members have ideas of their own.

“We are going to do an Easter egg type hunt in backyard but with small pumpkins instead of eggs,” one commenter on the Tigard Life Facebook page wrote.

Another Facebook commenter decided to take a modest approach at trick-or-treating. “We’ll be leaving candy on a table outside our door. [We’re] socially distanced, but kids still get candy!”

Lee Farms, a popular Tualatin berry farm and pumpkin patch, has remained open for guests, but with some modifications.

They have asked guests to pre-order tickets online at their website to reduce lines and manage capacity. In addition, the farm requires masks when distance cannot be maintained, and on all activities such as the hayrides, U-pick Corn Field, play areas and animal viewing pens.

General admission is 10 dollars and provides access to many of the activities as well as the pumpkin patch filled with over two dozen pumpkin varieties. You can learn more at www.leefarmsoregon.com.

Five Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt posters are hidden throughout Cook Park. Henry Kaus/Tigard Life

As a substitute for Trick-or-Treat Main Street, the Tigard Downtown Alliance is planning a window decorating contest and scavenger hunt through SW Main Street in Tigard.

Visitors will have the chance to vote for their favorite window decorations and pick up a scavenger hunt questionnaire at a participating business. For more information, check out www.exploredowntowntigard.com/events/trick-or-treat-main-street.

Finally, the City of Tigard is organizing its own scavenger hunt. Search for pumpkin posters throughout Cook Park, and once you’ve taken
a picture with all five concealed pumpkin
posters, you’ll be able to submit them through
Oct. 31 for a chance to win a prize box at
www.tigard-or.gov/recreation.