As if Halloween isn’t scary enough, add to it the threat of COVID-19 transmissions and the landscape gets even dimmer, but for those who abhor masks, this is the way to embrace them for an evening. Dig out your old plastic monster mask from childhood and comply with the governor’s mask mandate easily! Seriously, local businesses, schools and some private homes will be participating in All Hallos’ Eve while also observing social distancing and sanitation stations.
When discussing Halloween with Public Nurse Sarah Howe-Cobb, she shares that the party at the youth center in Augusta was scrapped. She likes the idea of a trunk or treat like Belt and Fairfield are doing, but has not heard a coordinated effort for Augusta. She expects a “bunch of parents with a bunch of kids doing their own thing”. Cobb shared her serious concerns about Augustans not complying with mask mandates and hopes that they will do what they need to do for public safety.
There were rumors of private homes having colored lightbulbs indicating whether they welcomed trick-or-treaters but that is not happening. Instead, the good old-fashioned dark house with no lights means no candy is a better way to gauge participation when chatting with locals about the evening.
Augusta Chamber of Commerce Secretary Sandi White plans on putting candy in individual baggies, so the germ spread is potentially reduced.
Owner Christi Levine at Latigo and Lace will be hosting their annual costume contest on Facebook. The contest is held throughout the whole evening. Levine says., “We take everyone’s pics and post them to Facebook, then whoever has the most ‘likes’ wins a gift certificate.”
The Buckhorn Bar may be more low key than usual but will be encouraging all of the COVID-19 safety protocols and looking forward to seeing customers in costume.
The Wagon’s West has been holding contests throughout the week. Come in and guess how many scary eye balls are in the jar to win a free cup of brew; I mean drink. On Halloween, they’ll offer special soups and hot drinks for young and old.
Mike Carlstrom at The Augusta Service Station is fashioning a safe-distanced candy chute for his part in the Halloween festivities.
While The Lazy B and The Western aren’t doing anything special, they join other businesses on the main drag to include Allen’s Manix Store, Latigo and Lace, forge, Augusta Service Station, Taylor Agency, Live in Montana Real Estate, possibly Sole Scissors Salon (depends on volleyball tournaments!) in safely handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. The times vary, but should be in the 3:30 to 7:30 range.
If you see a “pencil” and a “cheetah” trick-or-treating in Augusta, be rest assured it is first grader Eva and little sis Breeze Bouchard. Eva is adamant that they will be going door-to-door and she is not afraid of the virus. When asked if she will be wearing a mask, she replied, “I don’t think so.” A mask less pencil will be entertaining to see on your door step, for sure!
For 7th grader Alexa Wilkinson, she is planning on trick-or-treating with a friend. She plans on wearing a mask the whole time and stepping back farther from houses when they knock on the door to say trick-or treat. She and her friend both plan on dressing up as a nurse this year. Seems appropriate.
At the Augusta School, superintendent Kim Ramorini reports that Torgersons donated pumpkins for Kindergarten to second graders, then the student council bought every kid, from 3rd to 12th a pumpkin. Tuesday, the 27th was pumpkin decorating day. The preschoolers parade their costumes on Thursday. With volleyball tournaments underway, it is also spirit week, so there will be lots of dressing up at school.
Remember Shyanne Curry, the positive new principal at Fort Shaw elementary? Curry reports, “We are letting the kids dress up. We thought it would help keep their ‘spirits’ up.” (Curry is positive AND funny!) “We are doing Harvest parties in the classrooms with pre-packaged, store bought treats.”
Down the road, at the Ramble Inn, show up in your best costume for their costume contest. Register by 8:30 with the winner being announced at 11:00 pm. Top price is $75.
In Dutton, the Dutton Library will be holding a "walk through or drive up" Halloween Trick or Treat on Saturday, from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m, offering "something for all ages." "MASKS REQUIRED.... of course, silly! It's HALLOWEEN!
In Fairfield, Helen Music with the Fairfield Junior Women’s Club told the Sun Times that the Fairfield Trunk or Treat will start at 5:00 p.m. and last until 7:00 p.m. The event will take place along the street between the Fairfield Community Hall and Legion Park. The flow along the street will be one-way. For last-minute updates, feel free to contact Helen at 781-4243, or contact any Fairfield Junior Women’s Club member.
Whether you knock on doors or dress up and visit the local shops and bars, please be cautious and practice safe distancing, proper sanitation and adherence to masks. Let’s face the stark reality, we don’t want a town full of real ghosts and skeletons next year.