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Bangor residents planning for Halloween during pandemic

We spoke to some residents on Maple Street for trick-or-treating about their plans this year.
We asked residents on Maple Street their Halloween plans during the pandemic.
We asked residents on Maple Street their Halloween plans during the pandemic.(WABI)
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 7:15 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - What will Halloween look like this year? It’s another thing people are having to make tough choices about with coronavirus still a threat.

We spoke to some residents on one of Bangor’s busiest streets for trick-or-treating about their plans this year.

“I love Halloween. Maple Street, it’s just, it’s my holiday,” says Sue Baker, a resident of Maple Street.

Maple Street in Bangor on October 31st is truly an experience, and one Baker has been taking part in for most of her life.

“I’ve been here since I was eight. I’m going to be 63 next week, so this is my life," she says.

Families from all over bring their kids to trick-or-treat here. Normally, you’ll see kids lining the street.

“Thousands. Two to three thousand kids usually,” says Baker.

Baker believes there will be far less this year due to the pandemic, and while it will be a lot different than in the past, she’s still celebrating.

“I’m planning on passing out candy. I think I’m going to be one of few on the street, so we might have pretty few if people do come out," says Baker.

One homeowner we spoke with says they will not be handing out candy and will take down their decorations that morning. They say they’re saddened and sorry but just feel it’s the best way to keep everyone safe.

“I’ll have prebagged candy and lay it out, and people can come one at a time up to the steps," says Gretchen Shaefer, a city councilor who lives in another Bangor neighborhood.

The city of Bangor is recommending those who do go out on Halloween follow the state’s guidelines outlined on maine.gov. As for trick-or-treating in crowds, that’s deemed a high-risk activity when it comes to possibly spreading COVID-19.

Shaefer feels it can be done safely.

“I think there’s a way to do it.”

She says if you don’t feel comfortable participating in Halloween this year, that’s ok, too.

“I’ve also said if things change precipitously over the next ten days, we reserve the right to totally change the plans. But, right now, if Halloween was today, I think it could be done safely if people wear masks, if they keep their distance," she says.

That’s what Baker will be encouraging trick-or-treaters to do when she hands out candy on Halloween.

“I’m just going to try to make it as fun as I can and make it as safe as possible," says Baker, who later said, “If I see it’s not working, and I see people congregating and being close, then I’ll shut it down.”

In the past, city officials have closed Maple Street to traffic on Halloween, but it has not been decided if they will do that this year.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.