Dover mayor gives go-ahead for Halloween, Home for Holidays

DOVER — Children in Dover will be seeking treats while haunting the streets on Halloween night, and the city will also be hosting its Home for the Holidays celebration in the chill of December.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said that he has made the decision to have the city proceed with the holiday events and joked that he was “the master of fun and excitement in the city of Dover.”

He added that he believes everybody has grown accustomed to wearing face masks and social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis and expects no less at the two upcoming events.

“One of the reasons I’m probably going against what is expected of us is because kids have been cooped up too long,” Mayor Christiansen said. “We’ve canceled so many of our signature, fun events in the city, and parents will be able to take their kids around trick-or-treating. Houses that want to participate — turn your lights on.

“We ask that people hand out prepackaged candy, and it’s going to last from 5-8 p.m. (Oct. 31), and it’s going to be a fun event. We are also going to have Home for the Holidays. People have sense enough and know how to keep themselves safe. We’re not a bunch of babies, and we’re going to do something that’s fun in Dover.”

Home for the Holidays, which includes a Christmas marketplace and other festivities downtown, usually features a parade, but that could be one thing that gets changed.

“We’re in the processing of evolving (Home for the Holidays), but it’s going to be the same fun event that it’s always been,” the mayor said. “It’s going to be OK, and it’s going to make everybody feel good.”

The Dover Police Department announced Tuesday the cancellation of two annual events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Night Out event traditionally held in August was canceled after earlier being postponed, and the Safe Trick or Treat event will not be held in October.

In a news release, police said the National Night Out event provides a variety of agencies with an opportunity to show citizens what services they provide, the vehicles and equipment they use and a chance to interact with personnel in a relaxed atmosphere. The event typically attracts 1,500-plus people over a two-hour period.

The Safe Trick or Treat event is normally held the Friday preceding Halloween and was scheduled for Oct. 23 at Legislative Mall. The event averages 3,500-plus attendees, features nearly 100 businesses, organizations and first responder agencies from across the state, and provides a fun and safe environment for families to trick-or-treat and interact with members of the community.

The event has only been canceled one other time in its five-year history, when severe storms stopped the 2018 event.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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