Ghouls and goblins in Wakefield, Que. will have to go elsewhere Oct. 31 as Halloween is cancelled
MONTREAL -- A popular Halloween party has been cancelled in Wakefield, Quebec as the country prepares to adjust to the holiday amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The picturesque town about a half-hour north of Ottawa is typically a destination location for Halloween lovers, but this year the witches, ghosts, Jokers and skeletons who show up on doorsteps will leave with empty buckets and bags if looking for treats.
"Sadly, the residents of Burnside-Elmdale have decided we cannot comfortably host our beloved Hallowe’en party this year," wrote Dawn Airey, who helps organize the annual event. "This means we will not be accepting candy contributions, and the roads will not be closed to traffic."
The charming strip of Quebec heritage homes on Burnside St. is typically a must-stop spot for trick-or-treaters durng Halloween, but organizers felt the risk of contagion was too high to hold the event this year.
"An incredibly difficult decision, but the right one. We will miss you but totally understand," wrote one commenter below Airey's post.
Quebec director of public health Horacio Arruda brought up his concern about Halloween earlier this month.
"If there is a Halloween, it will have to be a special Halloween, different," he said. "Perhaps we'll have some virtual Halloweens but a Halloween where everyone is walking around and visiting other people's homes, that concerns me."
For the hundreds of children and adults who typically visit Wakefield for the annual party, the news was hard.
"This breaks our heart," said Airey. "We adore having a big huge street party where everyone can safely trick or treat. And we have done it through snow, torrential rains and even floods."
Last year, hundreds flocked to the street despite torrential rains.
The question remains: Will other neighbourhoods and municipalities will follow Wakefield's lead and cancel annual events?