Safe Halloween Celebrations for 2020

By now, nearly everyone has heard that the CDC is discouraging traditional trick-or-treating practices this year. Even though we can’t do the usual door-to-door routine, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate. After all, Halloween is a time for connecting with your community, and there is certainly more than one way to do that!

Here are a few of our ideas to celebrate: 

Host a socially-distanced neighborhood pumpkin carving contest

This is inspired by the Neighborhood Art Walk that one of our agents, Joilyn Anderson, hosted back in April. Create a flyer for everyone in the neighborhood inviting them to carve a pumpkin. Invite them to set up their pumpkin at the end of their driveway or sidewalk on a certain day and time, and neighbors can then walk down the middle of the street to see the art pieces while maintaining social distancing. 

Another idea with this same concept is a door decorating contest, where each of your neighbors is invited to decorate their door with Halloween themed decorations. 

One-way trick-or-treating

 

If you’re not quite ready to give up on the concept of trick-or-treating, you can individually wrap goodie bags and line them up on a table at the end of your driveway or yard for families to grab and go with zero contact.

If you want to monitor your table and converse with those who stop by, make sure to wear a mask and social distance. For an extra level of protection, provide hand sanitizer on your table as well. 

Monster Egg Hunt

Photo from TingedBlue.com showing some ideas for monster eggs.

Take a tip from the Easter bunny, and turn your Easter eggs into little monsters and other icons typical of Halloween.

Fill your eggs with candy, and hide them around the house for your kids to find. Let them dress up and then send them searching throughout the house. They get all the fun of finding the goodies while remaining safe and socially distant. 

Find some inspiration and ideas for decorating with these spook-tacular egg designs

Scavenger hunt

Easily give your family a way to get outside and look around at Halloween decorations, while remaining safe by creating a scavenger hunt. Give your family a list of Halloween-themed items to find, and check off a list as they admire from a distance. 

Open-air costume party

You don’t want to miss out on the fun of dressing up for Halloween, so get dressed in your Halloween finery. Part of the fun is seeing everyone’s reactions to your costume, right? 

Bring your friends and family together in a spacious outdoor area that allows for social-distancing, and have a fun time dancing, talking, and adopting the mannerisms of your characters all night long. 

This idea can easily be moved to a virtual event if you and your family are at higher risk. 

Outdoor spooky movie night

A favorite pastime of many Halloween enthusiasts is watching as many scary movies as possible during October. Others watch Hocus Pocus on repeat. 

No matter which camp you fall in, gather your friends and family in your backyard to socially distance on blankets and camp chairs while they watch a spooky movie projected onto a screen. You can all enjoy the movie together while staying safe. 

Here are some tips for how to set up an incredible outdoor movie night

This idea can easily be moved to a virtual event if you and your family are at higher risk. 

Extra tips for parents

If you’re taking your kids on a trick-or-treating run, scavenger hunt, neighborhood contest, or other fun neighborhood events, follow current recommendations and take extra precautions to keep your family safe. 

  • Have your kids wear a face mask—incorporate it into your kid’s costume to make wearing the mask fun
  • Have a parent or other adult accompany children of any age to hold them accountable for mask-wearing and social distancing
  • Avoid congregating around doorsteps, porches, or tables
  • Use hand sanitizer after receiving candy from each house
  • Do not eat candy while trick or treating
  • Have kids wash their hands as soon as they get home, and take a shower once they remove their costumes
  • Set trick-or-treating candy aside for a few days (common research and belief is that COVID-19 can live on plastics and similar surfaces for up to 3 days)
Posted on October 6, 2020 at 10:34 pm
Matthew Sidford | Category: Living | Tagged , , , , ,

What is Pioneer Day?

For new Utahns, there is one day of the year that may be a bit confusing and overwhelming because people take to the streets and everything else shuts down with no explanation. That day is coming up soon. It’s July 24th, better known as “Pioneer Day.” The day is full of celebrations that are deep-seated in Utah’s culture.

The date commemorates the day that Brigham Young first stepped into the Salt Lake Valley and told his fellow LDS pioneers that “This is the place.” Although the day has roots in the history of the Latter-day Saints, it is a celebration of all pioneers who settled in Utah. 

 

History

 

Pioneer Day marks July 24, 1847, which is when the first settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. The day was first celebrated in 1849 with a commemoration concert by the Nauvoo Brass Band as they marched down Main Street in Salt Lake City. 

Throughout the 19th century, celebrations of the day as a day of Independence and thanksgiving began. Celebrations included parades, devotionals, sporting events, feasts, dances, and reunions–all of which are celebrations similar to those hosted to this day. Some years celebrations were cut short by the entry of federal troops or were celebrated funeral-style for those pioneers who were imprisoned or lost along the way. 

These celebrations did not become consistent until the 20th century when Pioneer Day was recognized as a state holiday. Since then, Pioneer day has become a secular holiday to celebrate all groups who migrated to Utah during the pioneering era with overarching themes of frontier life, and homeland. 

 

How to Celebrate

 

Typical celebrations include the Days of ‘47 Parade (and float preview party), the Native American Celebration, Powwow, and Festival, The Days of ‘47 Rodeo, The Deseret News Marathon, etc. All of these events create an atmosphere of community and camaraderie. 

The day almost always ends with huge fireworks shows throughout the state, with shows of similar, or larger scale than those seen on the 4th of July. 

A large counter-culture movement has established “Pie and Beer” Day, a wordplay on “pioneer” for those who are primarily outside of the LDS faith and culture. Participants celebrate with either homemade or locally made pies paired with local craft beers. There are several versions of this celebration hosted throughout the state. 

This year, celebrations may look a bit different. We won’t have big celebrations as usual, but we will still celebrate. Here are a few ideas for how to celebrate Pioneer Day from home:

 

Read Stories about Pioneer Life

There are plenty of historical and fictional accounts of pioneer life. Consider a few of these for some ideas on where to start:

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder 

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

Nearly Everything Imaginable: The Everyday Life of Utah’s Mormon Pioneers by Ronald W. Walker

I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Young Pioneers on the Mormon Trail by Susan Arrington Madsen

 

Make Homemade Butter

Get back to the basics by making butter, just as the pioneers would have. Here’s an easy recipe

 

Make a Sweet Snack

Help your kids (or yourself, we don’t judge) make a tasty treat that is also educational by making a covered wagon complete with Teddy Graham driver. Check it out here.

 

Take a Hike

Hikes are a great way to get outdoors and experience the pioneer lifestyle. While things are a bit different now, that effort that you will put into taking a hike in the mountains is just the same as it was back in 1847. 

For an extra pioneer day twist, hike Emigration Canyon as that is the route the pioneers took into the valley, or Ensign peak, where Brigham Young and other leaders climbed up the mountain to survey the valley and plan the layout of Salt Lake City. 

 

Make a Candle

Pioneer life consisted of making a lot of things by hand. So get crafting and make a beeswax candle of your very own. Here’s a tutorial

 

Play a few Pioneer Games

Pioneers were even more active than we are today, even the kids. Here are a few ideas for pioneer-era games that you and your family can play, like Three-Legged races, hoop rolling, hopscotch, kick the can, etc. 

Pioneer day is about celebrating Utah and whatever you love most about living in this state, whether it be the history, the mountains, family, or something different entirely. It is a day for celebrating Utah’s uniqueness in whatever way you see best. It’s a celebration of why each of us here in Utah wakes up in the morning and says “This is the Place.” 

Posted on July 13, 2020 at 9:32 pm
Matthew Sidford | Category: Community | Tagged , ,