There will be a public trick-or-treat event in downtown Ellijay this Halloween, but it won’t be the door-to-door stroll through downtown that’s been held the last several years.
“Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state, the City of Ellijay is not hosting any Halloween event in downtown for the public,” noted Police Chief Ed Lacey.
Instead, trick or treating will take place at Harrison Park Saturday, Oct. 31, from 1-4 p.m. The Halloween event will be cosponsored by Friends of Harrison Park, the Ellijay Life Facebook group, the Ellijay Police Foundation, Gilmer Chamber and Landaverde Contracting.
“It will be on the (Harrison Park) walking trail, and we will be across from the scarecrows. People will set up tents and tables, and they will be dressing up. Those that are handing out candy are going to be wearing masks and gloves,” said Stacie Young, a volunteer helping to organize the first-time event.
At a Monday, Oct. 19, meeting of the Ellijay City Council, Lacey told attendees that the police department has put together a plan and will be on hand to control traffic, as well as provide an entrance and exit route for the event.
McCutchen Street, where Harrison Park is located, will be closed at the bridge for vehicular traffic from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., he noted. Parking will be available at Clear Creek and Ellijay Elementary School.
“Participants are required to wear protective face coverings and practice social distancing. Participants will walk to the park and enjoy a one-way walk along the walking trails past volunteer vendors who are prepared for participants to pick up treats along the walk. Participants are asked to make only one trip through the park before returning to their vehicles and exiting the school parking lots via North Avenue in the direction behind the schools,” Lacey noted.
Any person or business that would like to donate candy to be handed out at the event can drop it off at the Gilmer Chamber, said Young.
Event organizers are also welcoming more volunteers to hand out candy. Young can be contacted about volunteering or candy donations at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We do appreciate any candy donations because we’re going to have a lot of kids. We’re trying to get at least 30 or 40 people to help with passing out candy,” she said.
As for door-to-door trick or treating in neighborhoods, Lacey reminded residents and visitors of guidelines regarding the Halloween activity.
“If a residence displays a porch light during this time, it is an indicator that trick or treaters are welcome. If no porch light is displayed, please respect the resident’s wishes and do not disturb them,” he advised.
Other Halloween events
Other local events scheduled for Halloween week include:
﹣ Pleasant Grove Baptist Church will hold its fall festival and trunk or treat with church-sponsored games and activities Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 5:30-7 p.m.
﹣ Ellijay First United Methodist Church will host its trunk or treat festivities Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 5:30-7 p.m. There will be designated areas set up to cross McCutchen Street from Ellijay Elementary School, where parking will be available.
﹣ A costume contest sponsored by East Ellijay Tractor Supply and the Ellijay American Legion will be held at the Tractor Supply store Saturday, Oct. 24, from noon-4 p.m. Hot dogs, burgers and sodas will be sold and proceeds from the event will benefit local nonprofit Shelter Dogs for Veterans.