Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake cancel downtown trick-or-treating; Placid police cancel party, dance
On Monday evening the Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees decided to cancel Halloween — the official trick-or-treating in the downtown business district, that is. What folks decide to do in their own families and neighborhoods is up to them.
The vote passed after the Downtown Advisory Board said it couldn’t support the public gathering, which has in the past drawn 700 to 800 children and their families to a blocked-off downtown area where businesses have opened their doors to trick-or-treaters and given out candy. Even with masks and social distancing, the traditional holiday festivities were considered too risky during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The issue had come up in the previous board meeting, two weeks before, with some trustees wanting to allow downtown trick-or-treating. It was decided to table the vote until closer to the holiday.
The move is in line with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s remarks on the holiday, in which he said that although he wouldn’t ban trick-or-treaters from going door to door outright, he wouldn’t encourage it, either.
“You have neighbors — if you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you, and I’m not going to tell you not to,” Cuomo said in an interview with News 12 on Long Island on Sept. 15.
The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the downtown trick-or-treating event, voted to cancel the event this year.
“We’re sad about having to cancel the downtown trick-or-treat because it’s an event that everyone really enjoys,” chamber President Brittany Proulx said. “It’s sad that we have a year … where it’s on a Saturday.”
Proulx said six board members voted to cancel and that one could not be reached to vote. The chamber also chose to cancel OkTupperfest and the Warrior Run, summer events it had been postponing since the spring
“I work in a hospital. I hear constantly updates on how COVID is going,” Proulx said. “It seems kind of irresponsible at this point to gather people in any place.”
Proulx said last year the chamber collaborated with Angie Snye, then the town’s recreation and youth activities director, to combine its event with her Halloween Walk on the recreation trail — where older kids from the high school dressed up and handed out candy to younger ones. Proulx said she was not sure of the status of the walk but hoped the status of the virus next year would allow for the two events to collaborate again.
Decisions have yet to be made about trick-or-treating in Lake Placid, but the village police department has canceled its annual Halloween party for elementary school students and its middle-high school dance, (most recently held at the Crowne Plaza hotel) due to COVID-19, police Chief Bill Moore said Tuesday. The police department typically serves between 200 and 250 students and parents for the younger kids’ party, and it had about 140 middle-high school students at the dance last year.
Lake Placid Elementary School Principal Sonja Franklin said Monday that it looks as though the annual Halloween parade down Main Street will not go on due to COVID-19, but a final decision had not yet been made.
The Lake Placid Business Association promotes downtown trick-or-treating and has not yet discussed it at its monthly meetings.