Socially-distanced trick-or-treat event set for Morris Park

Last year, before the coronavirus was in the U.S., local kids took part in a trunk or treat downtown. In this file photo, Fairmont Police officer Richard Babich gives candy to Courtney Sapp, left, and Jaylynn Jones.

FAIRMONT — As the coronavirus pandemic continues, it’s forcing organizations to find creative ways to maintain annual traditions.

The United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties and the Marion County Public Library System are planning another trick-or-treat like its 2019 Halloween Family Fun Event, but this one will be held in Morris Park. This year, organizations will give out candy in a socially-distanced way, where kids and their parents don’t even have to leave their cars.

“Re-thinking it, we decided it would be a better idea to use Morris Park as a reverse-trunk-or-treat kind of thing,” said Christian Cox, children’s librarian for MCPLS. “We’re always thinking outside the box to find ways to stay in the community and keep them involved with the library.”

This event, the Halloween Family Fun Event: Spooky Lane Adventures, is free to the public, and is a way for the two organizations to give people of Marion County a night of safe Halloween fun.

Emily Swain, community impact director for the United Way, said the event is also a good way to get local businesses and United Way partners on board with the community.

“Last year, we were able to do a traditional trunk or treat,” Swain said. “That was exciting for us because we were able to involve some of our partner agencies and other folks from the community who are interested in engagement with the community and the kids.”

The event is scheduled for 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, and Swain said attendees will simply stop at the entrance of Morris Park to get a bag that will be hung on their vehicle’s side mirror. They will drive around the park, where people from different organizations will be stationed to place candy and treats right into the bags.

“We’re going to be able to put a bag on their mirror, that way the people that are handing out the candy are able to put it directly in,” Swain said. “We are going to have people set up around the park and provide a socially-distant way for children and families to enjoy the Halloween season from the safety and comfort of their cars.”

While this format differs from previous years, Cox said he and the library wanted to have some kind of event to commemorate the season, and the library and United Way are able to host one at no cost to the community.

“Any time we have a library event, it is free to the public,” Cox said. “The library is pretty much the heart of the community, and we try to stay connected and try to stay relevant with everything that’s going on.”

Swain agreed with Cox, and said she knows people may be looking for an escape from the difficulties presented this year. She said she is especially happy to be able to help create an event that follows COVID-19 guidelines.

“For us, it is important to be involved in the community,” Swain said. “Especially now, it can feel like things can be very trying and overwhelming. So for us to be able to offer an activity at an event that is safely socially-distanced warms our hearts and gives everyone something to look forward to.”

More information about Spooky Lane Adventures can be found on Facebook.

Email Eddie Trizzino at etrizzino@timeswv.com and follow him on Twitter at @eddietimeswv.

News Reporter

Eddie Trizzino has been a reporter with the Times West Virginian since August of 2017, covering the entertainment, business and health beats. He spends most of his time listening to records, going to the movies and strolling through the town.

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