Minturn cancels Halloween festivities | VailDaily.com
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Minturn cancels Halloween festivities

Minturn's Halloween celebrations have been a deep part of the town's character for many years; the Town Hall will not offer candy, but trick-or-treaters are still invited to collect candy at participating private residences.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com
Back in person: The Minturn Town Council resumed in-person council meetings this month. Mayor John Widerman said the council is hoping to keep meeting attendance high, using a in-person and zoom format, as there was robust public participation via Aoom.

"I'm hopeful that (in person meetings) is something that we can continue into the future, as long as things go smoothly, and we can keep public participation up."

The next council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 21, and will also be held in-person and via Zoom. The public can also participate by dialing in via telephone.

Oct. 18 update: The town of Minturn has rescinded their Oct. 15 guidance, publishing a clarification on Monday. Children are still welcome to visit and take part in trick or treating at participating homes. Read the full update here: https://www.vaildaily.com/news/minturn-issues-halloween-clarification-organic-occurrence-not-necessitating-government-organization/

In a lengthy, in-person discussion at Minturn Town Hall earlier this month, Town Council and staff appeared to be optimistic about the possibility of Halloween festivities going off in annual fashion once again in 2020.

Eagle County Public Health Director Heath Harmon joined the meeting, via Zoom, and also offered the town encouragement in its ability to pull off a safe Halloween event.

“There’s a way to do this safely,” Harmon told the Minturn Town Council on Oct. 7. “I think my mantra these days is really mitigating the risk to the maximum extent while we’re also really creating opportunity for some normalcy in our communities.”

Ideas like passing candy through 6-foot “treat delivery chutes” were mentioned.

But a few words of caution were offered, as well.

“It’s OK if you don’t participate in Halloween for one year,” Harmon said. “It’s better to take the extra precaution this year so we have future Halloweens.”

A warning about case counts increasing during holidays was also mentioned.

“We can demonstrate that clearly in our data,” Harmon said of holiday upticks. “We’ll continue to monitor this closely, and if we really do see things are concerning and we’re going to move from our current level to a more restrictive level, then I think that will also shift a little bit of our guidance.”

Safer at home

Over the course of the next week, that guidance had indeed shifted. Eagle County adopted a new public health order two days after the Minturn meeting, adopting statewide orders which said outdoor events may occur with up to 250 people per designated activity or area.

Minturn said the Oct. 15 decision to cancel Halloween festivities this year came based on the guidance from the county and state.

“Families are encouraged to be safe this Halloween by remaining in their own neighborhoods and visiting only friends and family/neighbors that have agreed to welcome them,” according to the town of Minturn’s Oct. 15 Halloween update. “Large groups are strongly discouraged.”

Councilmember Brian Eggleton said in talking to his neighbors, he was beginning to get the feeling that Halloween could be a scary day for reasons other than the costumes.

“We’ve talked a lot about participation in this event, but I think there’s a lot of households for which this could be, maybe, the scariest night of the year so far, because folks are walking around and coming to the door,” Eggleton said.

Guidance published by Eagle County says local goals for Halloween are to “reinforce good habits, and message that celebrations can happen and happen safely.”

The Vail Recreation District is planning its 28th annual Trick or Treat Trot for the streets of Vail on Saturday, Oct. 31.


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