Marquette City Commission approves trick-or-treating hours
MARQUETTE — The Marquette City Commission on Tuesday night voted 6-0 to approve trick-or-treating hours in the city on Oct. 31.
Those who plan on dressing up as ghosts, goblins and the multitude of other costumes for Halloween this year are still able to go out and bag some candy.
Hours will run from 4 to 7 p.m. with a set of recommended COVID-19 guidelines for both trick-or-treaters and candy distributors put forth by the city.
Unfortunately, there will be no official downtown trick-or-treating event this year, according to the Marquette Downtown Development Authority. Downtown businesses can still participate in passing out candy, but the DDA says it’s up to those businesses to notify the public that they’ll be doing so, and will encourage those businesses to follow the city’s COVID-19 guidelines.
While some businesses may still decide to participate, the DDA and the commission both hope the formal event will be held again next year.
“They’ve decided not to do trick-or-treating downtown, which is unfortunate but just the way the world goes right now,” Commissioner Pete Frazier said. “Hopefully next year we’ll be back in business.”
The guidelines were developed by the city manager’s office under direction from the Marquette County Health Department and information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those planning on trick-or-treating are urged to stay home if they or a member of their household is sick or is showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The city recommends “one-way” trick-or-treating for a safe and socially distant experience. Those distributing candy can set up a sanitized table or surface on their property and have “grab-and-go” goodie bags or candy to prevent close contact. If you do wish to disperse candy at your door, the city recommends setting up a table on your porch to keep yourself socially distanced from trick-or-treaters.
Families should talk with their children about the risks of COVID-19 while trick-or-treating, go out only with people you live with, and avoid congregating in large groups.
Trick-or-treaters and candy distributors should wash their hands or sanitize whenever possible, and face masks should be worn at all times. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask.
The city also says it’s important to turn your porch or yard lights on this year to indicate you’re passing out candy. For those who don’t wish to participate this year, keep your lights off or post a sign indicating that you’re not passing out candy.
The city says it’s perfectly acceptable to not participate if you’re hesitant about COVID-19 this year.
Marquette Mayor Jenna Smith said she’s pleased to have the Halloween recommendations in place and hopes the document is something other municipalities can look to for guidance.
“I just wanted to thank our city manager (Mike Angeli) for working with surrounding municipalities and with the county of Marquette to come up with this important Halloween guidelines document, and to have something our overall community can look towards.
“It’s important that if we make this kind of proclamation, we’re cooperating between other cities nearby.”
Commissioner Fred Stonehouse added that it’s important to be able to allow trick-or-treating this year to bring back a sense of normalcy and joked about how he gets to join in on the fun, too.
“It’s good to be able to do Halloween this year,” he said. “It’s good for a lot of reasons, one of them being that it kind of gets us a little back to normal, even though we’re going to have to do it differently. It’s still something that gives us a little bit of good value for what we’ll be doing.
“From a personal note, that means my wife will buy candy. She will buy far more candy than we will ever give away, which means I’ll have candy for some time, which is a personal advantage.”
The full city of Marquette Halloween guidelines can be viewed at https://marquette.novusagenda.com/Agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=2402&MeetingID=1911. For more information on ways to celebrate Halloween safely this year, visit www.Halloween2020.org.