Halloween celebrations were not immune to COVID-19 changes in Athens County, in October the traditional uptown block party was canceled and Athens County saw a tame Halloween weekend.
At the beginning of 2020, many in Athens County eagerly awaited the year’s Halloween festivities. Halloween 2020 took place on Saturday night, with a full moon and a full extra hour due to the time change. Everything should have been perfect for a classic block party blow-out. However in mid-September Mayor Steve Patterson announced that there would be no block party.
With no Athens Block Party and no special precautions in place for a large street party, the community had expressed some worries that revel-makers would overrun the street and cause further, faster spread of the COVID-19 virus.
However, as the evening wore on and groups and individuals went to celebrate the holiday, Court Street remained calm, orderly and mostly-masked. Groups roving between bars remained mostly separated and seemed intent on having a good time without being bothered by authorities.
Although house parties could be located in off-campus college housing, the parties were mostly kept small, discreet and private.
Athens residents found ways to celebrate as well. Passion Works Art Studio, as well as a number of community partners, hosted a parade in place at the West State Street ballfields. The loop of festivity involved Passion Works art and Honey for the Heart puppets hanging from the trees, fences and other installations, music provided by DJ B-Funk (Brandon Thompson) and lots — LOTS — of candy.
Vehicles lined up nearly to the West Side Elementary School, waiting to see the sights and sounds of a stationary Passion Works parade, seeking ways to help their little ones celebrate the holiday without being exposed to the virus or other germs.
Elsewhere in Athens County, neighborhoods held socially-distanced trick-or-treating. Many in Athens even took cues from the internet, finding innovative ways to deliver candy to children while still maintaining at least a 6-foot distance. Candy-shoots and slides down stairs were among the most popular confectionary conveyances.