By Megan Wehring
HAYS COUNTY — Halloween is right around the corner and even faced with the pandemic, the local communities are celebrating in their own way.
Residents are getting creative this year because trick or treating is off the table for some. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, there are several steps that should be taken in preparation for Halloween night. Six-foot social distancing should be practiced between members of different households. Cloth masks are highly recommended, and to make it fun for trick-or-treaters, cloth masks can be coordinated with costumes.
As for handing out candy, the CDC recommends for treats to be given outdoors or placed in stations with individually bagged treats, if possible. The CDC also provided other cautionary steps for Halloween activities.
While COVID-19 cases seem to be dwindling down in Hays County, there will be restrictions in the following cities: Kyle, Buda, Dripping Springs and Wimberley.
The city of Kyle is hosting the first Spook-Tacular Movie at Lake Kyle, showing “Hocus Pocus,” on Oct. 16 at sundown. Only 50 families were allowed to register prior to the social distancing event.
Other Halloween activities in the city of Kyle are listed below.
- Oct. 19 : Photo submissions open for the Pumpkin Carving and Decorating contest, hosted by the Kyle Parks and Recreation Department. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 30.
- Oct. 23 : Submissions for the Family Costume Contest are due by 5 p.m.
- Oct. 24 : Spook-tacular Cruise Drive Thru Trunk-or-Treat will be hosted at Gregg-Clarke Park from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Vendors will provide goodies for all attendees.
Beginning Oct. 24, the Buda Public Library and city of Buda are bringing a virtual “Boo-da Halloween at Home.” Residents can listen to Halloween stories, pick up library craft kids, learn how to face paint and attend other online programs.
- Oct. 24 : Spider Mania with Ms. Martha at 10 a.m.
- Oct. 26 : Monday Mix-Up! (Ages 12-18): Happy Halloween from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Oct. 27 : Buda BLAST (Ages 5-7): Author/Illustrator Spotlight- Halloween with Dav Pilkey from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Oct. 29 : Buda Kids (Ages 8-11): Happy Halloween from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Most of the community events in the city of Dripping Springs have been cancelled but the events that are still taking place will be following safety guidelines.
The city of Dripping Springs Parks & Community Services Department and other sponsors will be hosting a Movie in the Park on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. The event will be a drive-in style at Dripping Springs Ranch Park showing “The Addams Family.” Only 50 pre-registered cars will be permitted. Attendees must remain in or near their vehicle.
Kelly Schmidt, Parks and Community Services director, advised residents to take the necessary precautions to have a memorable Halloween.
“Do something special and memorable outside while employing social distancing and safety with this group,” Schmidt said. “Walk your neighborhood and wave to neighbors in costumes keeping a minimum of 6 [feet]’ from others outside your household or your social distancing buddies.”
Any candy gathered should rest in the container at least three days before touching, Schmidt said.
Boo! Hole Halloween is a tradition in the city of Wimberley that brought over 1,300 attendees last year. There will be a modified, drive-thru event this year on Oct. 24 at Blue Hole Regional Park. Over 20 businesses and organizations will be there to hand out candy, treats and prizes for the attendees. Creativity is encouraged with a car costume contest and a booth decorating contest.
Friday Night Frights is a new Movies in the Park program in the Blue Hole swim area where the Wimberley Parks and Recreation Department shows Halloween movies every Friday night in October. “Onward” will show on Oct. 16, “Nightmare Before Christmas” on Oct. 23 and “Scooby-Doo!” on Oct. 30. All movies start at 7 p.m.
Other events in Wimberley are listed below.
- Oct. 17 : Blue Hole Star Party will be hosted at 7 p.m. at the Blue Hole soccer fields with required registration prior to the event.
- Nov. 7 – Nov. 8 : Families can register for the family campout program where they can enjoy social distancing at Blue Hole. Families will receive a box of activities. Cookware will not be provided.
“COVID-19 has impacted all facets of Parks and Recreation,” said Richard Shaver, operations and program manager for Wimberley Parks and Recreation Department. “All of our fall programs and events are administered with safety and public health as our top priority.”