In response to COVID-19, Ohio University students and Athens residents will be finding their own ways to have socially distanced fun this Halloween, as OU and Athens are not planning on holding many events.
In years past, the Halloween block party and Honey for the Heart Parade have brought in people from around Ohio. With the dangers of the coronavirus, the block party has been canceled, and OU doesn’t plan to hold any virtual events for students on the night of Halloween either. Instead, students on and off-campus have planned their own ways to have fun this year.
The Honey for the Heart Parade is a Halloween tradition in Athens, but the coronavirus pandemic almost canceled the parade this year. Instead, the parade will now be a drive-thru. The newly named “Honey for the Heart Parade in Place” event will occur on Oct. 31 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the West State Street Park. More information about the event can be found on the Honey for the Heart Facebook page.
Additionally, there will be residential neighborhood trick-or-treating between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., which follows Ohio Department of Health Guidelines, Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said.
“The City has no plan for a virtual event and has not heard from any private group planning the same,” Patterson said in an email.
Typically, OU’s virtual events can be found on the official OU calendar. Currently, there are no virtual events scheduled for Halloween, but there is a pumpkin carving contest on the @ohiostudentlife Instagram page for students to participate in. Submissions will be due on Monday, Oct. 26. OU also provided a list of tips for students to stay safe this Halloween.
“While Halloween is typically a fun time of year in Athens, like many other things, it has been impacted by COVID-19… We encourage students to make good choices now so more students can return in the spring,” Jim Sabin, university spokesperson, said in an email.
Due to all this, many students are making their own plans for the Halloween season.
For Audrey Filimon, an undecided freshman living off-campus in Washington D.C., there won’t be much partying this year. She plans to stay in and watch Halloween movies all night.
“I’m worried about all the young adults going out to party then getting sick and harming themselves as well as our chances of going back to school,” Filimon said in an email.
Stevanie Montgomery, a sophomore studying nursing, is also off-campus in Columbus for her second year studying at OU. Although she does plan to party with some friends, Montgomery trusts that she’ll stay safe.
“Personally I hangout with the same people ever since the pandemic started and we all get tested frequently because of our jobs. So I feel safe but still a bit paranoid,” Montgomery said in an email.
Unlike Montgomery and Filimon, Nic Audette, a senior studying mechanical engineering, is currently living in Athens, and he plans on having a small costume party with some old friends.
Although Filimon, Montgomery and Audette plan on making smart and safe decisions, other students will not be as conscious this season. Many will attend large parties and risk the spread of COVID-19.
“(The) majority of people will have much smaller parties compared to the normal Halloween…no one hangs out by themselves on holidays,” Audette said in an email.