Point Pleasant Elks will hold grab-and-go trick-or-treating

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — One borough organization has stepped up during these tough times offering children a chance to regain a sense of normalcy in the borough by bringing trick-or-treating, in a safe way, to Point Pleasant Beach.

From 1 to 3 p.m. the community can visit the Elks Lodge at 820 Arnold Ave., to show off their spooky costumes and grab some candy courtesy of the lodge. 

Following state guidelines, the lodge will have pre-packaged candy on its front lawn for children to come up and grab. 

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Event organizer Brian Coyle said the lodge is excited to offer this small fun afternoon for borough children. 

“We are so excited to be doing this for our community this year,” said Mr. Coyle. “We hope kids will enjoy it and that parents will take comfort in having another safe stop to add to their trick-or-treat route.”

The New Jersey Department of Health [DOH] released guidance for trick-or-treating this year, all revolving around COVID precautions.

“We know that in numerous communities, Halloween is more than a fun activity, but a real tradition,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “We want to ensure that everyone has the chance to enjoy Halloween, but we also want to ensure everyone does that safely and responsibly.” 

Halloween is still on, the governor said, and all trick-or-treaters are asked to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth —  a costume mask is not a substitute. 

The state believed the best option for leaving candy for trick-or-treaters, according to state guidelines, is to arrange individually packaged candy so that trick-or-treaters can grab them and go. Halloween events are activities that are encouraged to take place outdoors. 

Mr. Coyle said they will follow these guidelines. 

“We know that safety around Halloween is a concern in many communities, this year especially, and we wanted to provide a safe alternative and/or an additional safe stop for kids for their trick-or-treating plans,” said Mr. Coyle.

Elks Members will be wearing masks and gloves and keeping at least 6 feet distance from trick-or-treaters.  

“We will have grab-and-go bags filled with individually wrapped candy that will be safely assembled a few days prior to the event,” said Mr. Coyle. “On Halloween day children can take a bag from a table at a safe distance from members and other children.”

Mr. Coyle said the Elks don’t normally hold a trick-or-treat event, but felt it was important to host one with the hardships of this year for families. 

Further NJ guidelines

The state urges trick-or-treaters to limit their groups to whoever is in their household and they are encouraged to stay local, as well as limit the number of homes they visit. 

At haunted houses, hayrides and corn mazes, participants are required to wear a cloth or disposable mask. Indoor haunted houses should be “avoided because of the possibility of congregation and screaming in close quarters,” according to DOH guidance. 

In corn mazes, individuals should only be permitted to proceed in one direction and occupancy should be limited.

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