Trick-or-treating is back for 2021.
After a year when COVID-19 meant that many Halloween events were canceled and trick-or-treating was discouraged, kids can again don costumes and hit the sidewalks.
Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the President, went on CNN’s State of the Union with a simple message: “Go out there and enjoy Halloween.”
Fauci said that particularly for vaccinated individuals, outdoor Halloween events like trick-or-treating would be considered a safe activity. For the unvaccinated, including young children, Fauci urged those that can get vaccinated to do so and add a “layer of protection” for children.
Joyce Lorenz, communications manager for Eden Prairie, said the city defers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance when it comes to celebrating Halloween safely.
The CDC recommends that those who are eligible get vaccinated for COVID-19. Masks are recommended in public indoor settings for unvaccinated individuals and everyone over the age of 2 in communities with substantial to high transmission (masks should not be put on children under age 2).
According to the CDC, all but one county in Minnesota is currently listed as “high transmission.” Eden Prairie’s latest data lists 44.6 cases per 10,000 residents as of Oct. 21.
Being outdoors for Halloween events is safer than indoors, the CDC stated. And while outdoors, the CDC recommends maintaining a 6-foot distance and avoiding large crowds. Sick individuals or those with symptoms should not host or attend gatherings. Testing is encouraged for those with COVID-19 symptoms or those who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The Eden Prairie Police Department also released a list of general Halloween safety tips earlier this week.
Police recommend carrying a flashlight or wearing costumes with reflective tape when trick-or-treating outside.
Children should stay on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks. Adults should check candy wrappers and discard any candy with torn or damaged wrappers.
The police also advise against using candles with flames inside jack-o-lanterns. Battery-operated candles or glow sticks are preferred to avoid the danger of fire.
Eden Prairie Center will not be hosting Halloween events or activities this year, according to Nancy Litwin, senior general manager.
The center’s popular Halloween on the Mall party was canceled last year with a note of hope that the tradition would continue in 2021. In an email, Litwin stated that at this time, there are no plans to hold the event in 2022.
She noted that the mall will be open during regular hours this Halloween.
While there may not be Halloween at the mall this year, there are several Halloween events on tap in Eden Prairie for the weekend.
Prairie Lutheran Church, 11000 Blossom Road, kicks things off Wednesday evening, Oct. 27. Participants are invited to meet in the church’s parking lot at 6:30 p.m. Decorating takes place the first half-hour with trunk hopping for treats from 7-7:30 p.m.
The city’s Not-So-Scary Nature Trail Oct. 30 at the Staring Lake Outdoor Center, is sold-out.
Prairie Community Church, 9145 Eden Prairie Road, hosts a free outdoor Pumpkin Pop-Up Party for kids and the community from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 30. The event includes an inflatable obstacle course, pumpkin painting, hot cider, treats and games.
Trunk-or-Treat fans can get their fill with events sprinkled around the city.
The Waters of Eden Prairie, 431 Prairie Center Drive, will hold their Trunk-or-Treat event from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 30, with a pet costume contest, bonfire and s’mores.
Trunk-or-Treat at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 16515 Luther Way, will occur from 3-4:30 p.m. Oct. 30. In the event of inclement weather, the event will move indoors, and participants are asked to bring a mask.
United Methodist Church, 15050 Scenic Heights Road, will hold its Trunk-or-Treat event from 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. The event will include pre-filled candy/activity bags, craft tables and a photo op. Masks are required.
For more information or to check out other local events, visit www.eplocalnews.org/calendar.