National Night Out, Safe Trick or Treat events canceled in Dover

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

The Trick or Treat event has only been canceled one other time in its five year history when severe storms forced the 2018 event to not be held. This is not a cancellation of traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating on Oct. 31.

Officials said that after a thorough review of the guidelines set by state officials for outdoor events of 250-plus attendees, it was determined by both the Dover Police Department and the Downtown Dover Partnership, that the agencies lacked the resources and personnel to meet each of the requirements to hold such events, according to the news release.

Given the extraordinary amount of time and preparation normally required to hold both of these events, holding them would not be possible even if restrictions are lessened by state officials in the near future, the news release said.

The plan is to bring the events back in 2021, police said.

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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