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Two neighborhoods on the Mid-coast will no longer have large trick or treat gathering

Trick or treating expected to change
Trick or treating expected to change(Owen Kingsley)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 4:35 PM EDT
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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - The Maine CDC announced new guidelines for safer trick or treating this year discouraging large gatherings.

Both Belfast and Camden say they will not be blocking off two popular neighborhoods that typically see thousands of trick or treaters every year.

Cedar Street in Belfast can see over a thousand kids on Halloween night.

This year, police will not be blocking off vehicle traffic, which encourages folks to walk the neighborhood.

“Given the COVID virus, I think that is the only rational thing to do. We can’t have all these little kids close together, that’s insane," said Anne Cohen of Belfast.

An annual tradition put on hold this year due to safety concerns, but some neighbors disagree.

Mary Ruoff says the thousands that come through the neighborhood can be safely managed.

“It’s not a festival. It’s trick or treating, but it’s like a carnivalesque atmosphere. People go through, they don’t stay for hours watching music and assembling like that," said Ruoff.

A similar situation on Pearl Street in Camden. Police say they will not be providing blockades to allow for the annual festivities.

The folks I spoke with here say continuing the tradition seems unlikely and unsafe.

“We see well over 1,100 kids the last few years. I’m a little relieved because there’s no way we can really maintain social distancing," said Paulette Spera of Camden.

“We couldn’t see a safe way to do it. Most people, like 98%, were totally on board, and then there were like 2% who just didn’t like our decision. And you know, I get that because the kids have had to give up so much," said Lori Van Dusen.

Both neighborhoods, and trick or treating, will look different this year.

“I think that people need to come up with the best solution for themselves," said Spera.

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