To trick-or-treat or not has become a dividing question this Halloween season as fear of causing a super-spread of the coronavirus continues to worry East County residents. While everyone seems to agree that this is a personal choice, many are preparing for this weekend’s events to make sure that children have a happy and safe weekend.
First, a word from county officials: In a press release sent Sept. 16, officials advise “county residents to show their Halloween spirit this year by doubling down on dress-up and decoration and reducing their risk by avoiding trick-or-treating, haunted houses or big holiday gatherings.”
For Antioch resident Joe Canepa this seems like a good idea. Usually with more than 100 trick-or-treaters knocking on his door each year, Canepa would decorate with a fun graveyard scene with lights and hand out candy at his Bluerock Drive address. However, this year he is concerned about the safety of the children in his neighborhood and decided to forego giving out candy but still offer his display to give everyone some happiness for the holidays.
Canepa won’t be alone. County and city officials throughout East County are suggesting taking a drive around the city to check out festive displays to be an activity of choice Saturday evening rather than going door-to-door for treats. Many neighbors will have signs and use caution tape to let people know that there is no candy available.
While Canepa chooses to offer no candy at his house, other neighborhood displayers will have candy for trick-or-treaters who social-distance and wear masks over their mouths and noses. One Antioch resident is going as far as saying that those trick-or-treating should be prepared to squeeze a pump of sanitizer that she is providing before touching any candy.
“We can be safe, we know how,” said Maria Perez, of Antioch. “It just takes parents to make the right choices and let their kids have a little fun.”
Although city-run organized events ran out of tickets quickly this year, several other groups are offering candy while supplies last on Halloween. For instance, Bring Your Car Culture will present a parking lot 2020 Trunk or Treat in the Party City at 2470 Sand Creek Road in Brentwood from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Golden Hills Community Church is hosting a Drive-Thru Trick or Treat at 2401 Shady Willow Lane in Brentwood from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Halloween, and Laurel Ridge Church is also hosting a trunk-or-treat event at 2459 Laurel Road in Oakley from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
While there are those who plan on some sort of trick-or-treating for the children this year, there are just as many who are planning to stay in and have their own parties at home with their social bubbles. Carla Helm, of Pittsburg, says that she has set up a haunted house and games for her children and nieces and nephews in her backyard.
“My sisters and I love to cook, so we’re searching the Internet for fun recipes for the kids to have a great time with,” she said.
Brentwood Farmers’ Market: Usually open only until November the Brentwood Farmers’ Market, run by the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, has announced that they intend to extend operations this year until Dec. 19.
The farmers’ market is hosted Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon downtown on First and Oak streets. They plan to continue offering fresh seasonal harvests, handcrafted goods and bouquets. The market has remained open throughout the pandemic, and organizers stress that those who visit the market must comply with county social distancing and mask orders. The market vendors accept EBT (Cal-Fresh) and WIC FMNP (Women, Infants and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) coupons.
Roni Gehlke can be reached at [email protected]