Donna Carlson, Executive Director of the Estes Chamber of Commerce is please to announce that the chamber’s proposal to Larimer County Health to hold our hallowed Halloween celebration on Elkhorn Avenue has been approved!
Every year for 38 years our town has been granted permission from CDOT to close off Elkhorn Ave. from Riverside to Spruce Dr. to create a safe space for our kids to trick or treat on Halloween. This year, the Estes Chamber stepped in to help organize this effort and make it COVID-safe.
That being said, there will be some modifications to assure a safe and fun night for all. Those changes include:
Tables will be lined along Elkhorn Ave. at six foot intervals for businesses to hand out candy, encouraging one-way, uni-directional movement with the use of arrows and directional signs, entering on the east side of E. Elkhorn, traveling along the north side of the street, with a u-turn at the Water Wheel, returning on the south side back to Riverside (see map).
Trick or Treaters will be required to check in at four Elkhorn entry points (Riverside, Water Wheel, Moraine and Big Horn) to receive a merchant-sponsored bag for participation. Participants will not be allowed to trick or treat with their own bags, they must have a designated bag to participate.
Signs entering and throughout the area will reinforce the safety protocol and the Chamber will have volunteers at each entry point, encouraging trick or treaters to follow the rules. Safety posters will be posted on sandwich boards throughout the route and on every table where candy is handed out.
Merchants participating in the event will register with the Chamber to get all the event rules and signage required at their distribution point.
Chalk markers will be posted on the ground for merchants to set up six foot tables ten feet apart, with six foot markers for families to distance between each other.
Merchants will disinfect and cover tables prior to the event. They will wear masks in keeping with the mask theme and handle all candy with gloves. Children will not be allowed to reach into communal bowls. There will be no trick or treating inside businesses; only at marked tables.
Every table will have a spooky sign reminding participants that masks have to stay on and kids need to wait until they exit to eat their candy.
There will be no performances that will attract a crowd. People will be encouraged to keep moving along the route.
We will be meeting the COVID mask requirements by calling this year's annual Halloween gathering a mask contest. Signs at both ends of the route, in newspapers and in social media will outline the rules, guidelines, and recommendations for the event. Mask rules will be enforced at every entry point and throughout the street.
Food will not be distributed by groups this year and signs throughout the area will encourage the consumption of candy at home.
Mayor Wendy Koenig said, “I really enjoy Halloween. I was very happy to learn that Estes Chamber of Commerce received a variance for Halloween in Estes Park this year. To the Estes Chamber of Commerce, thank you for your diligence and creative ideas to keep our families and visitors safe! You rock, Donna Carlson!”
Donna stated, “For most of the kids of Estes Park, downtown is the only way they've ever known to Trick or Treat. On a busy summer day, thousands of pedestrians grace our downtown with no crowd management controls and Estes merchants have made it safely through the summer with a flattened curve on case counts.”
She added, “October 31 is more than just Halloween in Estes Park; it's the first time after a busy summer and elk season that we can focus on our own families and have some fun.”
Let’s all celebrate Halloween safely and in style this year. It’s time to get out and have some fun! Thank you, Estes Chamber! Happy Halloween!