By Ian Croft
With Halloween this Saturday the Town of Taber will once again be hosting the Halloween Hall at the Town’s Community Centre. This event will start at 5:30 p.m. and will run untill 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.
However, due to the ever present COVID-19 virus the town will be taking additional steps to ensure the safety of all the people in attendance.
One of the steps is they are going to be utilizing more space as the Halloween Hall which will be spread across the arena and the auditorium. Instead of the games that they have hosted in the past years there will be a trick-or-treating parade allowing the kids to go from one trick-or-treating station to another as they collect candy along the way.
The parade will start in the hockey arena lobby, go through the change rooms, proceed out on the ice and, then the kids will finally be directed into the auditorium. After that they will have the option to enter the haunted house and then be given supper before they are let out. The town has also been in contact with AHS to ensure that their plan is in accordance with their safety standards.
Each trick-or-treating station will have a volunteer working at it who has been screened ahead of time to make sure that they are healthy.
The volunteers are required to wear a mask and gloves. The candy that is being handed out has been pre-divided by the town staff wearing gloves and has been sit- ting in tote containers for two weeks to ensure that it’s safe for the kids to handle. The haunted house is being run by a group of returning volunteers the Youth DO Crew who had helped out with the haunted house last year.
The haunted house has also been adjusted to ensure the safety of all individuals at this year’s Halloween Hall.
Where before the haunted house had a lot of touching points, such as streamers hanging down from the ceiling, it has now been adjusted to have none of those and now has a maze type set up with creepy things on either side of you with live jump scares.
The town will also be doing a draw for door prizes from the sign-up list at the Taber Aquafun Centre. When you sign-up you will get a time slot for you to enter the Halloween Hall. These time slots are broken into 30 minute increments. These 30 minute increments are when you will have your opportunity to take part in the trick-or-treating parade either individually or with your family/friends.
“I would also like to put a emphasis on the fact that it is going to be safe,” said town arts, culture and events (ACE) coordinator Lace Lutz.
With plans to do a staggered entry for the kids there will only ever be 35 people in the auditorium at any time.
Twenty-five of those people will be the kids; they will enter two minutes apart from each other to ensure that they will be at an appropriate distance while taking part in the trick-or-treating
“We really, really wanted to do it this year and we knew we couldn’t do it the traditional way. So this is our best version of the Halloween Hall that we could come up with because we want it being safe, as we want it to be safe for the kids, the volunteers and, all of our staff.”
Once the kids have completed the trick-or-treating parade they will be given a bag of chips, juice-box and, a hotdog. The hotdogs will be cooked in the kitchen in the auditorium by volunteers who are wearing masks and gloves, they will also be individually wrapped in tinfoil and given out with individual bags of condiments to minimize touching points.
“We always get quite a few volunteers but this year I need more,” Lutz stated.
There are 26 stations handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters each of which needs to have a volunteer working at it. Along with that there needs to be volunteers directing the one way traffic for the trick-or-treating parade to help ensure that the kids move at a smooth pace while maintaining proper social distancing. As well there is additional individuals helping out with the haunted house and the hotdog supper.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact Lutz at (403) 223-6013.