Up until this year, I thought I had trick-or-treated in every situation imaginable, both as a child and most recently as a mom of three. I’ve seen everything from freak snowstorms to torrential downpours to frigid cold to summer-like temperatures that left me sweating off my face paint as I ran through yards and mulched beds with friends (my apologies to those living in Sherwood Highlands from 1991-2002). After all, I’m a 90’s kid and I never let anything stop me from two hours of free candy (and nickels, toothbrushes, coupon vouchers, popcorn balls and other off-the-wall items folks in the neighborhood tossed into my pillowcase.). But unless you truly are a vampire and celebrated Halloween during the Spanish flu, you can probably join me in saying that there’s one situation we’ve all never experienced on a Halloween night – a global pandemic.
Now that trick-or-treating is a go in North Royalton (thank you Mayor!), it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to celebrate this spooky night with your family. Although we already have some holidays under our belts, this one is different because for the most part, many of the bans that clouded our lives these last seven months have been lifted (self-serve food stations are coming back, hallelujah!) and it’s one night where it’s actually fun to wear a mask.
But the question remains: Porch light on or porch light off? Pound the pavement with your kids or stay home and watch Hocus Pocus? Let your tweens and teens hang out at house parties or limit them to one or two trick-or-treating friends (or none at all)? There are arguments to both sides and above all, it’s a personal choice.
I asked local Facebook users belonging to the North Royalton Parents Discuss It group to share their comments on how they were planning to spend the Spooktacular night (which not only falls on a Saturday this year, but also comes with a full moon!). Here’s what they had to say:
“Our family is big into Halloween. We will be celebrating per usual with our annual Halloween Party and we will be participating in Trick-or-Treat,” said parent Kendra Rambo. “Come check out our giant 12 foot skeleton on Potomac Drive!”
Halloween is also still a go for the Kellsome family, who decorates their home and enjoys handing out candy.
“Candy is wrapped and there is no reason to keep kids from partaking if you follow basic hygienic behavior,” Kellyn Kellsome commented on Facebook.
Kristin Yarger said Halloween is her favorite time of year.
“I still plan on making my yard the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ and going all out like I always do,” Yarger said. “Kids came from neighboring cities last year to see my yard and get their full-size candy and I hope they all come back.”
Linda Barath will also transform her yard and wait eagerly for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.
“I’m going to decorate my haunted yard and give out candy to whomever comes out. I hope it doesn’t snow,” she commented. “We will have a full moon, should be fun!”
Still others said they will be opting out.
“I see way too many people saying they’re not going to wear a mask. The risk is not worth it,” said Tabatha Colombaro. “We’re doing a little Halloween thing at my in-laws for the kids. They’ll still get candy and we’re going to do fun games and stuff.”
The Burns family is also staying in.
“We’re planning to stay home and have our own little fun with candy (of our choice), movies, snacks and games,” commented Emily Burns. “We do not plan on handing out candy at the door while we are home. We will likely put out a bowl filled.”
The Evanovich family is opting out of their annual Halloween Party with friends to instead have both sets of grandparents over for a small gathering.
“We’re going to have trick-or-treating within our house at different doors and I’m going to have a Halloween egg hunt for my daughter,” commented Christy Evanovich. “We’re still going to make it a fun time for her.”
Gov. Mike DeWine has stated that decisions on whether to participate should be made by local communities, individuals and parents/guardians. The Ohio Department of Health released recommendations last month for celebrating Halloween that include best practices like wiping off candy wrappers (NOT the candy itself!) with sanitizing wipes when children arrive home from trick-or-treating and avoiding homemade treats and goodie bags, sticking instead with factory-wrapped candy. If your child is comprised, it’s suggested that you speak with your child’s physician before allowing any Halloween activities. For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Happy Hauntings this Halloween, ghosts and ghouls of North Royalton, however YOU decide to celebrate it!

Contributing Writer