Without resorting to trickery, local children will have several opportunities to get their treats come Halloween.
Making good on promises to provide traditional Halloween activities that adhere to coronavirus social precautions, town Recreation Director Deborah Giardino this week announced a series of low-risk events aimed at safely entertaining the little monsters.
“Halloween as a whole is happening,” Giardino stated on Tuesday night while briefing selectmen on Foxboro’s haunted happenings.
The first activity, which already has sold out, is scheduled for Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 24-25, and involves recreation staffers hiding Halloween eggs filled with nut-free candies in the yards of participating families. According to Giardino, eggs will be hidden between 6 and 7 p.m. on the above dates.
Next, on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m., a trick-or- treat drive-by is planned for the Ahern Middle School driveway loop — envisioned as a socially-distanced version of the long-standing Halloween parade through the town center.
Describing the drive-by as a “down-home event,” Giardino said representatives of the Kraft Group, Grace Chapel and other participating businesses, along with the town recreation, police, fire and highway departments, will set up stations along the school driveway and distribute treats to children in passing vehicles.
Vehicles will enter via the Mechanic Street entrance and exit on Chestnut Street.
“Friends of Foxboro Recreation have been instrumental in helping us pull that all together,” Giardino explained.
There will be no charge for the drive-by, but online registration is required to assist in planning. Parents can register by visiting the recreation department website.
Finally, the recreation department once again is asking local goblins and ghouls to bring their carved pumpkins to the town Common, where they will be outfitted with battery-operated tea lights (provided by the recreation staff) and displayed just outside the iconic Common fence.
Launched four years ago, the pumpkin display has been growing and this year will be judged, with prizes awarded to winners in several categories targeting different age groups.
Assistant Recreation Director Renee Tocci said that anyone interested should drop off their carved pumpkins at the Common on Sunday, Oct. 25. During the ensuing week, recreation staffers will take pictures of the entries for judging purposes and possible positing on the recreation department’s Facebook page.
If participants wish to retrieve their pumpkins they may be picked up on Sunday, Nov. 1. Any pumpkins remaining at that time will be donated to an area farm for animal feed, Tocci said.
Thanking Giardino and Tocci for their efforts at preserving a sense of Halloween normalcy for local families, Selectwoman Leah Gibson acknowledged that townspeople have different thoughts on the wisdom of maintaining social rituals during the coronavirus pandemic.
“People are looking for us to take a stand,” Gibson said, “and it sounds like our stance is we have the CDC and board of health guidelines, follow the rules and do what you feel comfortable with for you and your family.”
Giardino added that alternate low-risk activities suggested by members of the local board of health might include small-scale neighborhood gatherings, scavenger hunts or a virtual costume party.
But for those inclined to pursue a more conventional trick-or-treating excursion, Giardino urged parents to act responsibly: maintain appropriate social distancing, wear a mask under your [costume] mask and remain at home under self-quarantine if having traveled.