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Trick or Street Blocks in Seattle allow for socially distant Halloween

Brooklyn-based artists Maniac Pumpkin Carvers help New Yorkers transform pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns at an outdoor, socially-distanced pumpkin carving class at Rockefeller Plaza on Oct. 22, 2020 in New York City. Many Halloween events have been canceled or adjusted with additional safety measures due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

As Halloween approaches and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there have been a number of creative solutions proposed to celebrate the spooky holiday while still being safe and socially distant.

In Seattle, neighbors can apply for a “Trick or Street Block” and host a Halloween block party by closing their street to vehicles.

This idea builds on the creation of Stay Healthy Streets, which have been closed to thru-traffic to allow for more recreational space in neighborhoods during the pandemic. If you live on a Stay Healthy Street, your street already has barricades and street closed signs in place, so you don’t need any additional permits to hold a Trick or Street Block. However, you will still need to follow the guidelines and you can print out extra signs to let people know about any planned activities.

To set up your own Trick or Street Block, make sure it’s no longer than one block long, does not include an intersection, is on a non-arterial street, and is not on a street where buses run. The closure can occur any time between 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., including setup and cleanup. If you use retroreflective materials, you may extend the closure until 10 p.m.

Find a step-by-step guide on how to set up and apply for your own Trick or Street Block online here. Applications for street closures on Oct. 31 must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29. The Seattle Department of Transportation has a list of approved barricades and printable signs online to help make the street closure clear and apparent to drivers. Local access, deliveries, waste pick-up, and emergency vehicles are still allowed to drive on the closed streets at all times.

Hosts of the block are responsible for compliance with the Governor’s Safe Start reopening plan and public health guidance.

Any street closure should not result in crowding as it is intended only for immediate neighbors. Those celebrating should remain with members of their own households, and are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings and wash hands often.

Downtown Edmonds cancels trick-or-treating as pandemic Halloween looms

SDOT also recommends a “Keep Moving Halloween Costume Parade” as a safe option for Halloween this year, suggesting a walk around your neighborhood to look at decorations and enjoy the fall weather, while keeping six feet of distance from anyone outside of your household.

For those who want to stay indoors, SDOT posted a list of seasonal movie recommendations here.

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