This story has been updated to include an additional event.
Pull out the costumes, dust off your spooky decorations, and buy some candy—Halloween 2021 is a go.
After the pandemic muted last year’s Halloween festivities, experts at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it’s safe to celebrate this year with the proper precautions—especially for fully vaccinated people.
Experts recommend outdoor activities, social distancing and mask-wearing—all of which are pretty easy to accomplish on a holiday known for running from house to house in a costume that often includes a mask to collect candy and other goodies.
Luckily for the people of Juneau, a full slate of outside and socially distanced activities are available this year.
Here’s what’s on the docket for the next two weekends:
Calling all walkers
If you like an early start for Halloween festivities, check out the Zombie Walk this weekend. The walk starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, and leaves from Marine Park downtown. Zombies will walk a route downtown and wind back to Marine Park.
According to online posts, the walk is for “all ages—as long as you have brains.”
Sponsored by the Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance, masks are strongly encouraged, kids and pets are welcome. But, they caution that some of the costumes may be scary and not right for small children or pets.
Participants are encouraged to share pictures on social media marked #SEAGLAzombiewalk. A prize will be awarded to the picture that gets the most online love.
For those who prefer candy with a side of exercise, check out the Halloween Fun Run, sponsored by Girls on the Run of Greater Alaska and the Girls Scouts of Alaska.
Halloween games kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 in the playground area of the Riverbend Elementary School at 2901 Riverside Drive. The run starts at 3 p.m.
Visit the Girls on the Run of Greater Alaska Facebook page to learn more.
Candy collection opportunities
Neighborhood trick-treating is the classic option here. But, if the weather is rough or you prefer a more controlled option, head over to the Mendenhall Mall’s Trunk-or-Treat.
The community-candy bonanza kicks off at noon on Halloween in the parking lot and inside the building and will last until the mall closes at 5 p.m.
Patsy Anderson-Dunn, owner and operations manager at the mall, said that she expects those participating to hand out “hundreds of pounds of candy” in a safe and socially distanced environment based on last year’s event.
“We are requiring masks and will bathe you in hand sanitizer,” she said.
Anderson-Dunn said she expects 40 to 50 total stops for kids to pick up candy and other goodies.
She said that all ages are welcome to participate and that costumes are strongly encouraged.
“It’s a complete joy to hand out treats,” Anderson-Dunn said. “It is the best thing ever.”
Participation is free for both vendors and trick-or-treaters. People or organizations interested in handing out candy can visit the mall’s Facebook page or call the mall office at 907-713-7011 to reserve a spot.
Chapel by the Lake
Another trunk-or-treat opportunity is available Saturday, Oct. 30 at Chapel by the Lake. Between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., volunteers will share candy from decorated cars and trunk-or-treaters can roast marshmallows over a fire after collecting candy. (Don’t miss the cowboy-themed pick-up truck!)
Drive through option
Next Saturday, the Douglas Fourth of July Committee is hosting a drive-thru opportunity to gather treats.
According to Molly McCormick, president of the committee, members of the Juneau-Douglas: Yadaa.at Kalé hockey team will hand out Ghost Walk goodie bags for kids between the ages of 0 and 3 and those between the ages of 4 and 10.
The drive-through event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 30, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 909 4th Street in Douglas, in front of the Mount Jumbo Gym.
Costumed kids will stay in the car to collect candy, reflector bracelets donated by the Juneau Police Department, and other goodies provided by the committee and local businesses and organizations.
All volunteers will wear masks.
Police get into the spirit
The JPD is still finalizing plans to hand out treats and expects to share more information next week.
Erann Kalwara, public safety manager for the department, said that officers will share goodie bags and other treats with trick-or-treaters.
Taking a pass
One event that won’t take place this year is the traditional downtown trick-or-treating among businesses.
“We are not organizing a neighborhood-wide event,” said Christy NaMee Eriksen, owner, Kindred Post, and traditional organizer of the event. She cited pandemic-related health concerns as the reason.
“We, too, are anxious for signs that the pandemic is ending. But in order to get there, I believe we need to take it seriously as a community, and unfortunately, that means continuing to sacrifice some of our favorite things until we can,” she said in an email to the Empire.
If movies are your preferred Halloween activity, the Gold Town Drive-in has a full slate planned.
Catch one of three al fresco showings of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” over Halloween weekend at the drive-in area, located at the intersection of Egan and Willoughby across the KTOO station downtown.
According to the theater’s website, they “will have Rocky Goodie Bags filled with all the wacky stuff you need to join the freakfest and this year you can even bring rice.”
In addition, the theater plans drive-in showings on “Army of Darkness” on Oct. 22 and a double feature with “Frankenstein” and “The Bride of Frankenstein” on Oct. 23.
Visit goldtownnick.com to learn more.
• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at email@example.com or 907-308-4891.