Big Island Halloween A to Z in 2020
Holidays haven’t been exempt from the impacts of COVID-19, and Halloween will be no different.
Hawai‘i County is adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which regard in-person trick-or-treating activities as a high-risk activity. The same goes for haunted houses, which pose an inherent risk of spreading coronavirus.
The county has traditionally sponsored events at its headquarters in Hilo for employees and their families to enjoy, complete with trick-or-treating. Those won’t be happening this year. The Cooper Center in Volcano held yearly activities for members of that community, but those won’t be happening either. The Department of Parks and Recreation said it won’t sponsor any events at all for Halloween in 2020.
“There were talks about whether we wanted to do a larger event at the Civic Center to help alleviate the trick-or-treating need, but we decided against that after talking to the Department of Health and the Hawai‘i Fire Department,” said Maurice Messina, Executive Assistant to Mayor Harry Kim.
Because of current conditions, which have seen the Big Island report upwards of 1,250 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, county officials are asking everyone to stay home, avoid contact with people outside their bubbles, and think of some unique ways to celebrate this year.
Some low-risk ideas for the Halloween weekend suggested by the CDC are as follows:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
- Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
Events Available to the Public
Some events will be held over the Halloween weekend, most of which are sponsored by local businesses.
Kama’aina Motors in Kailua-Kona and Kama’aina Nissan in Hilo are hosting a drive-thru trunk or treat event, which they’re doing for the second time this year. One of the service lanes will be open and families can drive through parade-style to check out the decorations and. grab a free bag of candy. There will also be some classic cars on the lot for the parents in the crowd. Those events begin at 5 p.m. and will run until 8 p.m., or until the candy runs out. Social distancing and mask-wearing requirements will be in effect.
A new food establishment in Kona, Gecko Girlz Shave Ice, is celebrating its grand opening over Halloween. Gecko Girls is located on Ali‘i Drive and will be hosting events all weekend. A volleyball tournament is happening on Friday and Saturday and will include costumes, there will be live music starting at 7 p.m. Halloween night, and there will also be some trick-or-treating along with a mask contest every day of the weekend. All appropriate social distancing measures must be followed.
Now through Oct. 31, Queens’ MarketPlace is offering keiki the chance to pick up a treat-filled bag at participating merchants, including SoHa Living, Mahina, Olivia Clare Boutique, Quiksilver, Cariloha, Bike Works Beach & Sport, Island Pearls, Kona Surf N’ Sandals, KOR Salon, and others. There is no purchase necessary to receive a treat-filled bag. Costumes are welcomed but not required, however, face masks must be worn at all times.
Fall Harvest photo opportunities, complete with pumpkins, hay bales, and scarecrows, will be available as well. Take a photo and you will be entered in a contest to win a $200 gift card pack to Queens’ MarketPlace merchants. Those interested should post their photo to Instagram or Facebook and tag @QueensMarketPlace through Oct. 31. Two winners will be chosen at random on Nov. 1 and contacted by the Queens’ MarketPlace management office. For more details and store hours, visit www.queensmarketplace.com or call 808-886-8822.
And finally, the Office of Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder is sponsoring a drive-thru Halloween event at Puna Kai Shopping Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Halloween Day. There are paths to both drive and walk through the center to participate in Halloween activities. Participants can enter to win prizes by posting photos to Instagram or Facebook, hashtagging #PunaMatters2020 and #PunaKaiShoppingCenter2020, and taggin @OfficeOfKanealiiKleinfelder or the Facebook Office of Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder.