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Downtown Association, Prairie Mall ensure Halloween won’t be “Ghosting” Grande Prairie

Parents and their children can look forward to a unique way of celebrating Halloween this year, with a social distancing-appropriate event being thrown by the Downtown Association. As the typical Halloween Parade has been called off due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the Association still wanted to find a way for families to enjoy the festivities.

Downtown Association Executive Director Wendy Bosch says Halloween has been utterly revamped in the spirit of safety and social distancing.

“With so many things looking so different this year, we want to let our little ghosts, goblins and princesses know that we’re thinking of them,” she says. “We’ll have some great prizes, [and] it’s a favourite for all of us to see families and kids dress up.”

The revised plan will feature music, food trucks, vignettes for photo ops, dancers, actors and lighting to set the scene at Helen A. Rice Plaza adjacent to Revolution Place. A Facebook contest will be running based on photos sent in of families and participants at the vignettes for prizes.

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Running from October 29th to the 31st, there is ample time for families to come down and enjoy the scene without potentially overcrowding the plaza. It also comes as a unique alternative to celebrate, as the Prairie Mall will not be hosting trick-or-treating this year.

General Manager of Prairie Mall, Lionel Frey, says the decision was one that was pondered for around a month before finalizing the call based on the interest of safety and public health protocols.

“We just decided this year we’ll offer some alternatives, as an example we’re going to have an online costume contest for kids as well as online pumpkin carving,” he says. “We’ll see how this goes this year and who knows, maybe it’ll become a fixture for future years.”

Frey adds the mall is looking at migrating a surplus of events and activities online as public health protocols continue to encourage social distancing. He says when the mall reopened, staff didn’t know what to expect, but response from the public to the new normal has been positive.

“The public has been overwhelmingly cooperative as far as following the public protocols. I think everybody realizes businesses are trying to accommodate as much as possible, given the situation.”

Bosch adds the association wanted to offer some traditional entertainment, in a very non-traditional way that still encouraged kids to get excited about Halloween.

“We just don’t want our kids to feel that they’ve been forgotten on such a special, fun night. So we’re going to change it into a few days just to have a different type of fun.”

Festivities on the 29th and 30th will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on the 31st will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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