It’s going to be a “boo”-tiful Halloween.
Volusia County will still manage to give children a dose of normalcy this Halloween as local leaders, businesses and nonprofits have found creative ways to keep the Halloween “spirit” alive despite the pandemic.
Perhaps more than ever this year, people are putting extra effort into decorating yards, homes and businesses. Who would have ever thought seeing ghosts, witches, pumpkins, black cats, cobwebs, and other traditional Halloween offerings would be such a welcome sight.
Drive-through events seem to top the list for the best and safest way to provide community Halloween celebrations. And there are lots of them.
The City of Edgewater will host its annual EDGEfest Drive through Trunk or Treat from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Whistle Stop Park, 651 Roberts Road.
Jill Danigel, Edgewater Public Relations and Special Events Coordinator, stated in a news release, “The event will look different this year due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Rather than cancel the event, it has been re-imagined. This will be the first drive through only Trunk or Treat event.
“Admission to the event is free,” Ms. Danigel said. “The city has partnered with the Gifts of Love again this year, but with a new twist. Non-perishable food donations will be welcomed from those able to give. For those in need of food, they will be able to receive one bag of non-perishable food per car.”
The city is looking for truck or treat contributors, she said. “We need your help to fill the seven-acre field with participants so our local children can have an awesome night of fun despite the challenges 2020 has brought.”
To contribute, call (386) 424-2400, ext. 340, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Edgewater police volunteers also are sponsors.
The Marine Discovery Center and City of New Smyrna Beach are combining efforts to present Trunk or Treat & Cinema Under the Stars Friday, Oct. 30. The 1993 holiday classic "Hocus Pocus" will be shown in the Hunter Amphitheater at 520 Barracuda Blvd. Trunk or treat will begin at 4 p.m. and the movie will be shown at 7 p.m.
The amphitheater will have 10-foot by 10-foot squares that accommodate six people and allow for social distancing. Squares are $20. Call (386) 428-4828 for more information.
Ponce Inlet will host a Trunk or Treat Drive-Thru from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Town Hall, 4300 S Atlantic Ave. Attendees are encouraged to “dress to impress” for candy, crafts and a spooky good time. All participants must remain in their cars. Businesses and organizations will be wearing masks and gloves to distribute treats.
In Port Orange, Public Information Officer Christine Martindale stated, “The city will once again this year be hosting the annual Halloween Fest Trunk or Treat event with new event layout and protocols. The city hasn’t changed anything as far as trick or treaters going house to house.
“After careful review and planning, we have some new rules to help keep everyone safe at the event,” Ms. Martindale said. “All families will need to sign up ahead of time for a specific entry time. The setup has been modified to ensure everyone stays physically distanced from other families and trunks. At the designated entry time, we’ll allow one family in at a time. We also highly encourage masks this year.”
Register online at port-orange.org/219/. Registration continues to Oct. 30 or until all spots are filled.
The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. It will be strictly a Trunk or Treat this year, with no costume contest, haunted house or food trucks.
Four businesses and churches will host a candy crawl in Port Orange from 6to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, including Tim’s Corner Restaurant, 5664 Ridgewood Ave.; All Saints Lutheran Church, 751 Dunlawton Ave.; and Bully Me Now, 3780 S. Nova Road, all in Port Orange; and Port Orange; and Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church, 3140 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach Shores. More locations may be added. Any business that would like to be a Candy Crawl stop, call or text (386) 307-2832 or (386) 767-8761.
Keeping with the drive thru theme, the City of South Daytona will host a Trick or Treat Drive-Thru Boo from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at Reed Canal Park. Participants will enter at 919 Reed Canal Road and drive through a trick or treat maze with stops along the way. City staff will have masks and gloves on while handing out candy and treats to keep everyone safe.
For more information, call (386) 322-3070 or visit southdaytona.org.
For something different, Gary Yeomans Ford Daytona Beach will present Full Moon Movie Night at Daytona Stadium, 3917 LPGA Blvd., from 6:15 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31. “Beetlejuice” will be shown for free. Each vehicle receives a Bag o’ Treats.
Also in Daytona Beach, Crossroads Church will have Trunk or Treat from 1 to 4 p.m. at 1851 S. Clyde Morris Blvd. on Halloween.
Tomoka Town Center wo;; host a Halloween Family Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1401 Cornerstone Blvd. in Daytona Beach.
There will be costume contests, giveaways and activities for the whole family.
For social distancing requirements, people are required to register for the free event at shoptomokatown.com.
The center also will offer music, a photo booth, professional caricaturists, guessing station, prizes, scavenger hunt, appearances by the Pumpkin Princess for a themed story time, and a Birds of Prey demonstration.
A new street in Ormond Beach, created for Halloween, is Halloween Highway. The free, family-friendly drive-through trunk or treat will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. You can cruise through the Ormond Beach Sports Complex where vendors and staff will have vehicles and booths decorated along the one-way route. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes and can receive goody bags with limited to no contact.
In Deltona, Trunk or Treat will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at The Center at Deltona, 1640 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. No costumes are required. Drive through only (no walk-ups) while supplies last. For more information, call Joe Hearn at (386) 878-8875.
Another eerie offering is candlelight tours, complete with scary tales, at the DeBary Hall Historic Site at 7 and 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, Saturday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 30.
The tour starts in DeBary Hall’s theater where a storyteller will describe the lives of previous tenants and describe some creepy customs born in the Victorian era. Then on to the DeBary mansion with some mild frights through the narrow hallways and darkened rooms once occupied by 19th century wine merchant Frederick DeBary and family. Staff and volunteers will share spooky stories and tell tales with tragic ends as they creep through unlit rooms and listen to the creaks of the 1871 mansion.
Space is limited to 10 guests per tour; call (386) 668-3840 for a reservation. Participants should wear a mask. Admission is $10 per person. Children younger than 12 will not be admitted.
Also in DeBary, the city's Parks and Recreation Department will be judging the annual Halloween Decorating contest Oct. 24-28.
Saxon Logistics, in conjunction with the city, is bringing back its Trunk or Treat program at Florence K. Little Town Hall parking lot from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Costumed children visit cars that have candy caches in their trunks. Following CDC guidelines, vehicles will be parked six feet apart with hand sanitizing stations throughout. The event will take place October 31, 5:30-8:30 pm.
Also, the recreation department has launched a pumpkin carving contest for residents to participate in at home. Entries can be emailed to email@example.com by Oct. 26. Judging will be opened up to the community on the city’s facebook page @cityofdebary from Oct. 27-29.
For more information, visit debaryrecreation.org or call (386) 601-0206.
St. Jude's Episcopal Church willhost a Trunk or Treat from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at 815 E. Graves Ave. in OrangeCity.
Church officials said, “Come dressed up for some safe fun and goodies.”
The Pumpkin Patch will be open. Masks and social distancing encouraged.
The City of DeLand will present The Haunted Trail from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Earl Brown Park, 750 S. Alabama Ave.
The trail is recommended for ages 4 and above. Masks and temperature checks will be required and there will be social distancing.
There will be food and a DJ for dancing, then the screening of the movie “Casper.”
For more information, call 386-626-7315.
Countywide, door-to-door trick-or-treating will still occur but only with homes that have their outside light on. Due to Covid-19, there may not be as many homes participating. There may also be people who are taking safety precautions, such as socially distancing, leaving the candy in a bowl, having hand sanitizer out, or wearing masks or shields.