NORTH EAST — After a fairly lengthy discussion on the matter, the Town of North East voted last week to cancel trick-or-treating this Halloween in the town limits of North East by a unanimous vote.
The Mayor and Commissioners of the Town of North East voted unanimously Wednesday of last week to cancel trick or treating in the town after some discussion on the matter.
Initially North East town officials referenced a recent discussion with county officials in which risk issues associated with COVID-19 and trick-or-treating activities were discussed. North East Mayor Robert McKnight said that while the county would not go so far as to say there should be no trick-or-treating the town needed to make a decision on the issue.
Town Administrator Melissa Cook-MacKenzie said that the North East Chamber of Commerce would not be having the North East Spooktacular this year, so that should help with the normally heavy foot traffic in downtown North East.
During the discussion of possibly cancelling trick-or-treating in the town, it was discussed that the town may want to make efforts to put up signage, both along Main Street, and also in communities in North East, specifically in the Timberbrook community. McKnight said it might be possible to place lighted signs on either end of town, especially those areas coming into downtown. There was also discussion about the possible purchase of other smaller signs to be placed at various locations around town.
During the discussion, North East Police Department Chief Jim Just said it would difficult to police trick-or-treating activities throughout the town. McKnight said that he didn’t expect the department to act as the “Gestapo,” but noted that the town’s goal in eliminating trick-or-treating this year would be to keep the community and its residents safe.
After some further discussion, a motion was made to cancel Halloween trick-or-treating activities in the town limits of North East and the motion was approved unanimously with no further discussion.
Due to limitations imposed by COVID-19, the town also voted unanimously to cancel the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony, normally held after Thanksgiving as a further safety precaution.