Malls and churches get creative this year to celebrate Halloween safely

Malls and churches get creative this year to celebrate Halloween safely
Kendall Hanson
WatchWoodgrove Centre in Nanaimo hosts its first Halloween costume contest and a church holds a car rally as people celebrate the day
One of the costumes at Woodgrove Centre Saturday

Despite the extra guidelines regarding the celebration of Halloween, people are still finding a way to enjoy the spooky season.

The Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo hosted its first-ever Halloween costume contest and had contestants strut their stuff on a runway for the judges.

The mall’s new management brought the idea forward, and it was a hit among locals.

“I’ve loved Halloween since I was a kid. It’s always been my favourite holiday ever so having it shut down I just kind of decided that this year I should go full out and when I saw they were having a costume contest here. It just sounded really fun,” said Layla Wallace, a contestant who dressed as Corpse Bride.

Jasmine Nicholson, another contestant who dressed up as She-Ra said this event was a great idea.

“It’s so fun and it’s perfect because lots of people have been stuck inside and haven’t been able to fully enjoy themselves,” said Nicholson.

Normally, the stores in the shopping centre hand out treats to youngsters but that wasn’t a possibility this year due to COVID-19.

With direction from provincial health authorities, the Woodgrove Shopping Centres came up with rules and regulations to make sure the costume contest was safe.

More than 200 people took part, all in stages throughout the day.

“We’re already fully booked. We can’t put any more persons in there because we have to follow the rules from Island Health which is also from the Ministry of Health,” said Vercancy Wu of the Woodgrove Centre.

Across the city, another seasonal celebration saw First Baptist Church host Trunk or Treat this afternoon – a scavenger hunt car rally.

“Carloads of kids are coming by and they have to get a clue and they have candy coming at the stations. Then at the very end, there’s a whole bag of candy for them so it’s a safe way to have fun on Halloween,” said Maureen Cunningham, who was hosting one of the clue locations.

“There’s that extra level of stress all around us and you do what you can to make things fun, especially for the kids,” said Bill Cunningham, Maureen’s husband.

Back at Woodgrove Centre, the judges have some tough decisions to make.

The winner of the $5,000 top prize will be announced Monday.

READ MORE: New owner of Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo has big redevelopment plans

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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