Halloween is not cancelled but it will be different this year amid pandemic

Halloween is not cancelled but it will be different this year amid pandemic
WatchHalloween is not cancelled, but it will be different. B.C.'s provincial health officer says gatherings, such as bonfires and pumpkin patches, will need to be scaled back.

Some parents on Vancouver Island and acorss Canada are already thinking about Halloween, with a new survey by the Retail Council of Canada indicates that eight in ten parents plan on celebrating in some way.

Halloween is a big treat for the economy, generating a billion dollars in spending annually, according to Dr. Brock Smith, a professor in the business department at University of Victoria.

“About 50 per cent, maybe a bit less [spent] on candy. And the other, slightly more than 50 per cent is adults buying decorations, buying costumes, buying alcohol, buying food for parties. It’s spread across the economy.”

Before the pandemic, Canadians spent more on Halloween than any other occasion, except Christmas. But this year will be different.

“It’s important to keep our sense of normalcy by celebrating these events whether or not it’s Thanksgiving, Halloween or Christmas. And whatever people celebrate. I think that’s an important part of our culture,” Smith said.

BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Halloween is not cancelled. While this is not the year for big parties, Dr. Henry said there are still ways to mark the scariest night of the year, although not with bonfires or parties.

“We’ll be looking at things like pumpkin patches, and haunted houses and guidance on how to do it. I think the basics, though, will be the same. Keeping it small,” Henry said during a COVID-19 update on Thursday.

Henry says she will release a list of guidelines for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day next week.

READ MORE: 82 new cases of COVID-19 reported in B.C., 1 new case in Island Health

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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