Ottawa prepares for a COVID-safe Halloween
A girl trick-or-treats at a decorated home in Ottawa on Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
OTTAWA -- Halloween is upon us and many are going ahead with frightening displays hoping children will dare to head outdoors.
While trick-or-treating may be too spooky for some, others have scared-up some creative ideas to make for a fun-filled Hallows Eve.
If you were to think about a Halloween enthusiast, Al Bois should be the first name to pop in your head.
The front yard of his Barrhaven home has everything needed for a hair-raising experience. There are demons and witches, spiders that jump out and fog that covers the yard. Bois is dressed to scare. All he needs now are kids to come by.
"During COVID right now more than ever I do believe a little more than ever, to just lift the spirits up in families in the neighbourhood kids need something to look forward to," says Bois.
Bois will also be offering treats, if you dare. In Ottawa, public health officials recommending children not trick-or-treat this year due to COVID-19 transmission in the community.
"But I think the way I've done it is pretty safe," Bois says. "If they want to grab a bag of candy they're more than welcome to and if they don't that's a little more candy for me and the wife afterwards."
The treats will be placed at the end of the driveway in a box. Candy was packed in bags using gloves and a mask. Bois also cautions that he will be lurking around, to ensure people are keeping physical distance.
If the thought of heading out to collect candy is just a little too scary, there are some other great ways to enjoy spooky neighbourhood set-ups.
Four-year-old Hughie and seven-year-old sister Erzsi Strersky are on a neighborhood hunt with their mom. They printed a "search-and-count" fun sheet where you can travel your street and find haunting items, like pumpkins, skeletons and spiders at displays.
This year the family will head to the cottage, avoiding the night altogether, but the two siblings aren't so sad, mom bought a big bag of candy for the occasion.
And if you're after the sweet taste of victory the Woodpark Community Association set up an online pumpkin carving contest for area residents.
Pumpkin Master David Levesque says Saunders Farm donated some prizes for the scariest, most original and funniest pumpkin as well as the best-decorated house.
Which Bois, could probably win, but there is plenty of scares around the city. Whatever plans you have, Bois offers this advice.
"It's not about the candy this year; the option is there if you want it, it's more about looking at the show."