Halloween brings creativity to give out candy, celebrate safely during Illinois COVID-19 surge

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Usually Halloween is a fun-filled fright fest, but what seems really scary this year is scaling back and even possibly cancelling Halloween plans because of COVID-19.

Jesse Campbell knew he wanted to go big for Halloween when he and his family moved to Andersonville a year ago. But the pandemic prompted the interior designer to add a special feature: a candy chute that lets him give out candy to trick-or-treaters while being socially distant. He made it himself, with PVC pipe, orange paint and black duct tape.

"This whole year has been really hard on everybody and just a light and fun event is due, I think," he said.

Campbell said he was inspired by other candy delivering devices popping up around town.

There are also alternative options for families looking for innovative ways to celebrate Halloween. Many neighborhoods are sponsoring their own events, like Trick or Treat on Catalpa in Andersonville. Only families who have signed up ahead of time can enjoy the small-scale block party.

"We just wanted to do something for the kids and the families who really enjoy Halloween," said Selene Idell of Alley Cat Comics.

Little Beans Cafe in Evanston is throwing a Halloween party Saturday, in which small groups of kids can play for a limited time.

"We decided it would be a good way to get families who aren't comfortable going outside to trick-or-treat, but still want to celebrate Halloween," said Amy Gajewski, Little Beans Café.

Health experts say that during Halloween it is still important to wear your mask, even under your costume. (And no, costume masks don't count.) You also need to be mindful to maintain social distance.

But experts also said being safe doesn't have to get in the way of having fun.
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