Halloween planning is underway in the Yakima Valley, with decorations going up on private homes and in public places. It won’t look the same this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a quiet Barge-Chestnut neighborhood the most obvious difference.
Trick or treating is considered a high-risk activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so residents in that Yakima neighborhood are discouraged from handing out treats this year. The city of Yakima usually closes several streets in Barge-Chestnut but isn’t blocking off any streets for Halloween events this year, city spokesman Randy Beehler said in an email. The Yakima Health District “explicitly discourages” door-to-door trick or treating and parties this year.
Local residents still are finding creative, safe ways to celebrate. Here are a few:
- Pumpkin Carving Photo Contest:
- to submit a photo. The deadline to have all pumpkin carving photos in is Oct. 25.
- Hands-Off Halloween Express at the Harman Center: From 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30, children through seniors are invited to dress up, wear masks and drive through the Harman Center parking lot for a no-contact Halloween event. The Harman Center is at 101 N. 65th Ave.
- Drive Through Trunk or Treat in Selah: Normally Halloween in Selah means the downtown business district is teeming with princesses, vampires and superheroes going from business to business on foot before fanning out into neighborhoods for more trick-or-treating. This year the Selah Chamber of Commerce is replacing that with a drive- through trunk or treat at two locations, the Selah Middle School parking lot and the North Park Center between Nana Kate’s and Grocery Outlet.
Both locations will be active from 4-7 p.m. on Halloween, and people are welcome to drive through both. Businesses that would like to participate can contact the Selah chamber at 509-698-7303. Families who would like to decorate a vehicle and hand out candy can call Nana Kate’s at 509-697-4804.
- Drive Through Trunk or Treat in the Nile Valley:
- community Facebook page. As of press time, Eagle Rock Grocery at 8590 State Route 410, Naches, said trunks should line up at the edge of the grassy area behind the Woodshed. Cars can drive through the gravel drive from 6-7 p.m.
- Haunted Tents Yard Display:
Everyone must wear a face covering to view the display — no face covering, no entry, no exceptions. Only groups of five or fewer are allowed in the display at a time and social distancing will be enforced by a sensor inside the display. Mike and Sue Ann Indorf will monitor the numbers of people inside and outside the maze, as they usually do, but with an emphasis on social distancing this year. Keep an eye on the Haunted Tents page on Facebook for hours, any changes and more information.
- Prosser Pumpkin Painting Contest: Students can show off their pumpkin-painting skills in this contest sponsored by the Prosser Parks and Recreation Department. There’s a different category and theme for each school level. City staff will choose a first and second place in each category. Winners will receive a Visa gift card and a gift basket from Prosser Memorial Health.
The theme for elementary students is funny, with a $50 gift card for first place and a $25 for second place. Middle-school students have scary as the theme, with first place getting a $75 gift card and second place to receive a $35 gift card. The high school theme is Day of the Dead and the winner receives a $100 gift card; second place gets a $50 gift card.
All entries will receive a candy bag from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 30 at Prosser City Hall, 601 Seventh St. in Prosser.
- “Halloweek” in Ellensburg: Kittitas County is in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan and Ellensburg is hosting a “Halloweek.” There will be a virtual costume contest and a haunted homes driving tour without candy. Businesses and community groups will hand out bags of treats at drive-through locations on Halloween night. Families are encouraged to dress up and visit one location only. Go to https://ellensburgdowntown.org/ for more information.