WALLINGFORD — The Public Celebrations Committee continued its discussion Tuesday on how to have a safe, socially distanced Halloween community celebration.
As there was not a quorum, the committee didn’t vote on a plan. Any event depends on approval from the Police Department and Mayor’s Office, along with input from Health and Parks and Recreation officials.
The committee is planning a car parade at Sheehan High School, which would look similar to the Festival of Silver Lights at Hubbard Park in Meriden, potentially on Friday, Oct. 23.
Chairwoman Roz Gallagher said she estimates the event will draw 800 children, but is budgeting for 1,000 goody bags with candy and small novelties that kids would receive at the end of the parade.
No refreshments would be served, as has been done in past years.
Gallagher and committee member Larry Russo met with Sheehan Principal Enzo Zocco, she said, while planning the car parade route.
Cars would enter from Hope Hill Road into Sheehan’s north driveway, pass the school on the right and make their way to the back parking lot. After driving through the parking lot, featuring decorations, a carved pumpkin patch and music, cars would exit by driving down the hill and out the south driveway onto Hope Hill Road.
Wallingford-based Sound Spectrum is slated to provide entertainment, including music broadcast over low power FM radio.
Access to electricity may be an issue, so the committee is looking to Public Works to help locate a power source.
Gallagher said holding a car parade at Sheehan could cost around $4,000, which breaks down to $3,000 for the entertainment and about $1,000 for candy, pumpkins and other items.
The committee has a total budget of $17,383. The Halloween event would be the first use of the annual budget.
The committee is looking for 14 to 20 volunteers for the event, people who would help keep the cars moving.
Other local Halloween traditions have been thrown into jeopardy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Trail of Terror is slated open for its 26th season on Oct. 2, but a lack of volunteers has organizers worried the attraction may not be able to sustain itself financially since reduced revenue will make it difficult to cover expenses.
Tickets went on sale earlier this month.
Elaborately decorated homes along North Main Street, meanwhile, draw thousands of people to the Dutton Park area every year for trick-or-treating.
Vince Proto, 517 N. Main St., said Tuesday that he’s going to be decorating his home again this year, covering the outside in lights, ghosts, skeletons and other creepy characters.
A few neighbors have said they also will decorate, but a few have said they won’t.
Proto said residents won’t be giving out candy and the police department won’t be blocking a section of the road, as in past years.
He does encourage people to drive by and observe the spooky sights from a distance.
“Halloween will return next year,” he said. “It’s important to be safe.”