City officials urge caution for those planning Halloween trick or treating
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 3:13pm caleb
City of Grayling says it has ‘no legal authority’ to govern the holiday, asks people to ‘adhere to public health recommendations’
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Officials from the City of Grayling said they’re receiving a lot of questions about trick or treating for the upcoming 2020 Halloween season, and they provided answers on Wednesday, September 23, by saying they do not have the authority to govern the annual holiday.
“Halloween is not a city sanctioned event, but rather a nationally recognized holiday. Other than announcing the suggested hours (always 6-8 p.m.), the city has no further involvement. The city has no legal authority or basis to cancel Halloween or restrict the free movement of its residents,” said Doug Baum, Grayling Public Safety Director/Chief of Police.
The state’s current regulations in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 – as outlined in Executive Order 2020-183, the latest version of the “Safe Start” order – don’t contain anything specific with regard to Halloween trick or treating.
Executive Order 2020-183 does place limits on “outdoor social gatherings” and “outdoor organized events,” but is Halloween trick or treating really considered a “social gathering” or an “organized event”?
Perhaps a future order or amendment to the Safe Start order will specifically address Halloween.
If state regulations allow trick or treating during the Halloween holiday, city officials urge caution for families planning to participate in it this year.
“All residents who participate in traditional trick-or-treat, indoor costume parties, indoor haunted houses, hayrides, or tractor rides with people you don’t live with should understand that under federal CDC guidelines, these activities are not recommended. If individuals decide to participate in these activities, they should adhere to any public health recommendations from the local health department, the State of Michigan, or the CDC,” Baum said.
“Be safe and use common sense. Households with a positive case should not participate, any individuals with symptoms should not participate, and any other guidance from public health officials should be adhered to,” Baum said. “Be smart, be safe, and have fun.”