NEW YORK - This year, despite the fear of coronavirus transmission being bigger than that of ghosts and goblins, you can still enjoy a fun and COVID-safe Halloween celebration with businesses offering socially distant alternatives.
"We thought we were saving Halloween," said Clark Bish, owner of Bloodshed Farms in Columbus, New Jersey. "We love Halloween."
Bish been thinking since May about a safe way to bring the Bloodshed Farms 'haunt' to life in the age of COVID. He'c come up with a drive-thru concept.
"We pulled all our resources from all the parts of the haunt onto our hayride. We had to lay down stone for the cars to go through. They are mostly scaring the back seat with the kids we try not to scare the driver so intense...We really hit hard on the other sides, " Bish said.
The response to the drive-thru haunted ride has been amazing. So amazing, they may have to continue it even when COVID is over.
"We're not getting our regular crowd of people who come to bloodshed farms. We're getting people from 1-1.5 hours away looking to do something safe and Halloweenish. We enjoy the bigger event. It's scarier. It's more in your face. We hope we can be in your face in a year. We might run some nights as the drive-thru," Bish said.
Stew Leonard’s is also doing a Halloween drive-thru at all of its stores and it's a little less scary and better for the younger kids.
"We've been called the Disneyland of dairy stores we’ve got to keep our image up at Halloween so this was something we scrambled to put this together," Stew Leonard, owner of Stew Leonard’s stores said.
Stew Leonard's converted its Halloween hayride to a socially distant, free drive-thru spooky experience, pivoting like all businesses have to during the pandemic.
"We took part of the parking lot we’ve got some of these characters as you see around here and we got a radio station, you know it has the monster mash, it has all these songs on there. I think a lot of people today have to figure out a different way to do things in this crazy COVID environment that we are all going through."
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"This is Stew Leonard's answer. Over here, a drive-thru Halloween that is safe that is fun and as long as those little kids drive out of here with big smiles on their face it makes Stew Leonard's happy," Leonard said.
If it's trick-ortreating you are looking for, Lowe's stores are helping kids trick-or-treat while maintaining social distance, offering a curbside event.
"Halloween is a great tradition that our customers and community look forward to," Lowe's Brooklyn store manage Erik Marrero said. "We won’t be able to celebrate Halloween much like we have in the past. We want to keep customers safe and we still want to uphold this tradition. If they can stay in the safety of their own vehicle while we hand out pumpkins and candy it’s still some remnants of Halloween."
The free, curbside trick-or-treating event is at all stores October 29, but they ask you to pre-register. Or you can shop inside the store to go all out decorating your house for Halloween.
"We know customers are spending a lot more time than they have in the past so being festive and being able to decorate we offer merchandise to decorate your homes for Halloween," Marrero said.
Fox Floors, a carpet store in Ocean, New Jersey is offering another Halloween decoration for your home, a trick-or-treating candy chute to keep trick or treaters socially distant.
A post on Facebook sparked the idea, proving one person's trash is another person's treasure.
"At my family carpet store, I have all these remnants rolls of carpet," Marshall Fox, owner of Fox Floors said. "We always generate these 12-foot long carpet tubes. All the time when I saw that picture I was like, wait, I have tons of tubes lying around and I thought it would be the perfect thing to make those candy chutes out for Halloween.
The demand for carpet tube candy chutes has been astounding. Fox floors has been giving them away for free but recently teamed up with the Make A Wish Foundation of New Jersey to take donations.
"What a great way to help children still enjoy Halloween during this pandemic in a safe way and like you said giving back to an organization for kids who are battling critical illnesses," Director of Communications for Make a Wish Foundation Michael Dominick said.
So kids, get ready to catch your candy as it comes down the candy chute.
"It's definitely going to be something very different versus going up to a door now they will be looking out for candy coming out a tube. It's making some kids and parents happy, that's what it’s all about," Fox said.