CAPE ELIZABETH — Halloween is not canceled this year, but residents may choose to celebrate the holiday a bit differently in light of the pandemic.

On Oct. 14, the Cape Elizabeth Town Council said that it supports CDC guidelines that Town Manager Matt Sturgis brought forward.

These guidelines highlight different Halloween activities from low risk, moderate risk, and high risk categories.

The town of Cape Elizabeth recommends that residents follow CDC guidelines when it comes to Halloween activities. Courtesy photo

High risk activities include classic door-to-door trick-or-treating, Trunk or Treat, which is receiving treats from car trunks in parking lots, or participation in hayrides or indoor haunted houses, the CDC said. Low risk activities include activities like virtual costume contests, pumpkin-carving with household members indoors or outdoors and socially distanced with friends.

Policing these guidelines on Halloween night would be “near impossible,” so residents may use them purely as a recommendations, Sturgis said.

“I felt this might be a positive step to provide guidelines for people who may want to be creative to celebrate the holiday as well as socially distance and approach it that way,” he said.

Halloween Candyland is an alternative approach that Cape Elizabeth Community Services is setting up on Oct. 30, Sturgis said.

According to the Community Services website, preschoolers through fourth graders may participate with the event starting at 4:15 p.m. in the Community Center back parking lot. Children may decorate treat bags and make their way across a Candyland gameboard, and town vehicles will be distributing contact-free treats.

Registration is required and a link can be found at capecommunityservices.org/halloween-candyland. Sturgis said the event can take about 55 participants.

“They’ve tried to do that with the most sanitary and social distancing approach, contact tracing, as well as all the other parameters out to try to have a safe event,” Sturgis said. “I think they can accommodate up to about 55 people there. They can do it as a drive-thru. The Police Department’s involved, public works, fire (department) and facilities as well, to try to provide an alternative to families.”

For other families and residents, a full list of CDC-recommended Halloween activities and approaches to trick-or-treating can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/halloween.html.

Although the town can’t enforce safe Halloween practices, Cape Elizabeth is trying to provide “good options” for families, Sturgis said.

“We’re not canceling (Halloween),” he said. “We’re just saying there may be safer ways to go about doing this.”

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