MOUNT DESERT – Despite the pandemic, Halloween is happening this year.
There are several events scheduled around the island and in Trenton, all designed to protect the health of children and their families. Some will even support local business owners.
Because Halloween is on a Saturday this year, a few new spooktacular events have been created and will take place throughout the day. Outside of traditional trick-or-treating on Ledgelawn Avenue and Thurston’s Lobster Pound’s Trick–or–Trunk, Camp Beech Cliff is hosting a Trail of Treats and the Bar Harbor Historical Society will host a Haunted Mansion for those who dare enter. Several of Tremont’s organizations are getting in on the fun with a scavenger hunt in which clues can be found throughout the town.
The town of Bar Harbor will be arranging a safer-than-normal Halloween for trick-or-treaters on Ledgelawn Avenue.
Chamber of Commerce Director Alf Anderson said he wants “to make Halloween seem as normal as possible so everyone could be safe but still have fun.”
Along with cops directing traffic and pedestrians, the entire street will be closed to vehicles. Barricades will be in place to create a one-way flow meant to prevent trick-or-treaters from wandering off course.
Volunteer chaperones will monitor crowded porches to enforce social distancing. Ledgelawn homes will be given candy chutes (5-foot-long PVC pipes) to avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. Gloves and masks will be available for trick-or-treaters and their families.
In the last few years, more and more people have donated to the folks who live on Ledgelawn to help defray the cost of candy needed to serve the crowds. This year, Ledgelawn residents will receive full, unopened bags of donated candy. To collect candy donations, a box has been placed at Hannaford’s until Oct. 22, which is an earlier date than usual to ensure safe distribution.
The Bar Harbor Historical Society will host a Haunted Mansion Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guidelines for safe practices during the pandemic will be enforced. This event will include self-guided museum tours, a haunted garden, outdoor children’s activities, treats and more. Admission is free, but online registration is required. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit the Haunted Mansion Halloween event page on Facebook.
Halloween Costume Sale
To replace the canceled Pajama Sales & Bed Races event, the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce has announced a Halloween Costume Sale on Oct. 31. The daylong sale will give seasonal stores that have experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic an opportunity for one last burst of business before closing their doors for the season. Deals will be available at participating stores. Some businesses encourage donning a creative costume to receive deals and discounts. The Bar Harbor Chamber is collecting registrations from participating businesses until Oct. 25 and will share the full list on its website Oct. 26.
Howl-O-Run Virtual 5K Marathon
The Hancock County SPCA will host their county-wide Howl-O-Run Virtual 5K from Oct. 17–31. This year, marathon participants will be able to run wherever they want, at any pace, with or without their pets. Prizes will be held for the top two runners who earn the most sponsorship money. There will be photo contests with categories for Best Pet Costume, Best Kid Costume and Best Adult Costume. All funds raised benefit the SPCA. The admission fee for participating is $20. People are encouraged to get their own sponsor form information and register on spcahancockcounty.org/howl-o-run/.
Thurston’s Lobster Pound’s Trunk–or–Treat
In the event of good weather on Oct. 31, Thurston’s Lobster Pound will host its annual Trunk–or–Treat from 5–7 p.m.
Participants are asked to adhere to guidelines for social outings by properly distancing between groups and by wearing masks. Group sizes are not under any limit, but traffic flow will be altered to accommodate parking. Thurston’s is asking folks to park their vehicles, walk through the trunks to collect candy and then return to their vehicles. There will be directional signs in place for guidance.
Southwest Harbor Public Library Bag o’ Treats and Pumpkin Raffle
This year, celebrating Halloween starts early at the library in a different and safe way by asking kids to dress up and send a photo to earn a bag of treats.
Take a photo of your child, family or safe group in costume and send it to [email protected]. Include the ages and names of people in the photo and whether or not it can be used on the library’s website and/or social media. Library staff will put together a bag of goodies that will include new or gently used books, an art project and a surprise or two (no candy). Bags can be picked up curbside at the library any time before 3 p.m. on Halloween.
According to the website, the sooner the photo is sent, the sooner the treat bag can be picked up.
Also, whenever patrons borrow books from now until Oct. 30, they will receive a free raffle ticket for a jack–o’-lantern carved by artist Mike Duffy. There is no age limit to this raffle and the winner will be drawn on Oct. 30 at 10 a.m.
Trail of Treats @ CBC
Camp Beech Cliff is teaming up with several local organizations to create a ‘neighborhood’ for families to trick–or–treat through at their Beech Hill Road campus.
Beginning at 10 a.m. and going until 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 31, groups are asked to register online for a timeslot to travel through the outdoor trails in costume and collect treats. Groups are meant to include one carload at a time, according to camp officials.
When each group arrives, they can pose for a photo and be entered into a costume contest. Winners in categories of age group will be chosen at the end of the day and announced via a live Facebook broadcast. Adults are welcome to join the fun. Trick–or–treaters will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite decorations among the participating organizations, some of whom have promised a wicked surprise.
Registration opens online at the Camp Beech Cliff website on Oct. 16. For any questions or problems signing up online, call the camp at (207) 244-0365.
Tremont Scavenger Hunt
Clues will be released this Friday, Oct. 16, for a town-wide scavenger hunt through the Tremont Consolidated School’s newsletter, on the town Recreation Board’s Facebook page and posted in other strategic locations.
Participants can decipher the mystery on their own or in groups until Oct. 30. Once they have collected all clues, kids can bring their answer to the Town Office in exchange for a Halloween treat.
“The secret message is related to Halloween,” said Town Manager Chris Saunders, who noted all clues can be found outside in order to keep participants safe.
Harbor House Trick–or–Treat
Costumed kids and adults are invited to trick–or–treat with Harbor House this year. From 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 31, there will be pre-bagged treats available in front of the decorated Main Street building. Visitors are asked to keep proper social distance between parties.
Southwest Harbor Food Mart Trunk–or–Treat
A pandemic cannot prevent tradition. This year, the food mart will be hosting its annual Trunk–or–Treat in the parking lot from 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 31. Costumed participants will be directed to collect pre-bagged and packaged treats in a one-way flow to keep everyone safe. Organizers of the event will help to keep folks properly distanced during the event.
“We have quite a variety of treats for these kids this year,” said Amber Gray, an employee of the food mart.