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COVID-19 impacts Halloween in Grand Rapids

Posted at 9:43 PM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-01 21:50:23-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As with most things in 2020, Halloween looks different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

State and local health officials released recommendations for the holiday earlier this month to reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Homeowners in Grand Rapids’ Cherry Hill neighborhood used six-foot chutes to pass out candy.

“I believe we have over 30 in the neighborhood,” said Mike Kolehouse, homeowner.

Kolehouse says he saw the idea on social media about a month ago.

He didn’t want the holiday to be ruined for his daughter, so he partnered with two local businesses to create them.

“I think it just makes people feel more comfortable,” said Kolehouse. “This is a time with the pandemic where people are trying to find normalcy and I hope this is a way we can deliver that.”

Despite people out Saturday, research suggests COVID-19 affected Halloween.

“Unfortunately what we found was about half as many people are anticipating Halloween in the ways they usually do,” said Dr. Trey Malone, assistant professor at Michigan State University.

Malone surveyed 1,000 households across the country about the holiday.

It found lower engagement in typical activities and more uncertainty around Halloween plans.

For example, just 26 percent of those surveyed said they were likely to participate in Halloween activities in 2020.

“I think all questions about what is normal or acceptable protocol has come into question,” said Malone.

Malone says it’s likely these trends will impact other holiday.

“I think if we want to look forward into Thanksgiving and Christmas, that uncertainty is probably going to stay there,” said Malone. “I think that’s going to disrupt the plans for a lot of industries who rely on demand from these high level, high profile holiday events.”