With the coronavirus-impacted Halloween just days away, trick-or-treat times are being updated across the region.
Smiths Grove and Warren County announced their official times Tuesday.
Smiths Grove set its trick-or-treat time for 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31. Warren County scheduled trick-or-treating to start at 4:30 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m.
Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower recommended leaving bagged candy out for anyone who takes part in the holiday festivities.
The county will have the same three-hour period for trick-or-treating on Halloween as the city of Bowling Green has scheduled, which is from 4:30 until 7:30 p.m.
“This makes the most sense with everyone being home on a Saturday,” Hightower said of the time frame. “We can’t stop everything from going on, but we have to be safe moving forward. We are waiting for further guidance from local health departments. Ultimately, we want everyone to have a safe and fun night.”
Bowling Green Police Department spokesman Officer Ronnie Ward echoed Hightower’s sentiment in urging the community to stay safe during the holiday.
“We don’t monitor Halloween,” Ward said. “Our role in this celebration is that we suggest hours and respond to any calls we may get that night. We just ask that folks keep to the guidelines, be respectful and enjoy their evening.”
There will be no formal “Pumpkin Alley” event – an annual Halloween celebration that draws thousands of visitors – on Mooreland Drive in Bowling Green this year because of COVID-19 concerns. The road will not be closed this Halloween; however, homes and hundreds of jack-o’-lanterns will be lit up for viewing.
Smiths Grove Mayor David Stiffey said his city’s allotted time was a way to please those who wanted trick-or-treating to happen and those who were fearful about the idea amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were being asked a lot about what we would decide, and we wanted to try to appease both sides of the discussion,” Stiffey said. “We think the two-hour time frame is an ample amount of time with everything going on. This should be enough time for everyone to be eligible to trick-or-treat.”
Despite the scheduled time, the city isn’t actively endorsing trick-or-treating this year. Stiffey said that decision is entirely up to the discretion of residents.
“We tried to cover this as best as we can,” Stiffey said. “Handing out candy will be done entirely on the discretion of each household, but we urge everyone to follow all the guidelines available. We don’t want to be the area that contributes to a huge spike. It’s extremely important everyone follows the guidelines.”
Stiffey said residents could put out candy in individual bags for trick-or-treaters as a potential safe alternative to hand-to-hand contact.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said trick-or-treating this year is a “high-risk activity” that should be avoided to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.