SD&G – With the Eastern Ontario Health Unit recommending the tradition of costumed youngsters going door to door in search of Halloween treats be avoided this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still some ways to celebrate the holiday while keeping safe, thanks to community organizations and local businesses.

Randy Robertson, president of Royal Canada Legion Branch 569 in Long Sault, told The Chesterville Record that the Legion Branch is working to provide a safe alternative to trick or treating in this South Stormont community. Robertson explained that the Legion is accepting Halloween treats until Oct. 24 at the branch located at 7 Frost St. in Long Sault. The treats will then be quarantined in accordance with Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) guidelines and then treat bags created for distribution on Halloween. Robertson explained the candy will be packaged in bags for outside pick up on Oct. 31, with donors provided with tickets for children to exchange for the treats. To help create an eerie atmosphere in keeping with the season, costumed volunteers and spooky music will add to the Halloween experience, with guidance from the EOHU received to ensure the safety of everyone.

The Avonmore Community and Athletic Association is holding a Pumpkin Carving Contest. Rules include getting your pumpkin, carving and/or decorating it, posting a picture of the jack-o-lantern in the comment section of the ACAA Facebook page with the winner “randomly selected on Nov. 1.” The prize for the lucky winner is a $25 gift certificate to Rock’n Ronda’s Diner and Pizzeria in Avonmore. 

In Winchester, Simply Baked Catering (SBC) Inc. is sponsoring a Halloween Cookie Decorating Contest. Designed to be a fun activity for all ages, contest rules include ordering a six-cookie kit ($10) or a twelve-cookie kit ($18) from SBC by Tues., Oct. 27 and arrange a pick up time either on Fri., Oct. 30 or Halloween itself. Cheryl Beasley of SBC suggested “they wear their costumes while decorating.” After decorating the cookies (and before you eat them up) post pictures of the creations on the SBC Facebook page and be entered into a draw for a $20 SBC gift certificate. Beasley explained people will “have until Nov. 3 at midnight to post pictures” with the draw to be held at 10 a.m. on Nov. 4.

Morewood Recreation Association is holding a “Best Jack-O-Lantern Contest” in that small North Dundas Community. Those entering the contest are asked to carve your pumpkin at home, and on the back write your name and phone number before placing it on top of the hay located at Veterans View Park in Morewood on or before Oct. 30. Judging by North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser will be done on Oct. 31 with winners notified on Nov. 1. There are prizes for first, second and third place winners. Participants are asked to leave their pumpkins on display at the park for Halloween evening.