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Buffalo mayor discourages traditional trick-or-treating, indoor gatherings for Halloween

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown is asking City of Buffalo residents to refrain from participating in door-to-door trick-or-treating.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is encouraging safe celebrations this Halloween.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown is asking City of Buffalo residents to refrain from participating in door-to-door trick-or-treating, saying it is too great a risk during the pandemic. Brown is also asking residents not to take part in large indoor Halloween gatherings.

In a press release, the Buffalo mayor cited the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), saying many traditional Halloween activities can spread viruses, including COVID-19.

“Halloween is a cherished annual celebration in the City of Buffalo, but we must continue to do everything we can to limit community spread of COVID-19," Brown said in a statement. "Going door-to-door and giving or receiving candy is too great of a risk during this global pandemic, which continues to threaten our community, especially our most vulnerable residents."

"I urge residents to consider alternative Halloween activities and ask that everyone continues taking the proper precautions, including regularly washing hands, practicing safe physical distancing and refraining from attending or hosting large gatherings of any kind. What we do now will safeguard our families, our neighbors and our community. As the City of Good Neighbors, we must continue to stay strong and stay together to fight this deadly virus.”

The CDC is recommending the following safe low-risk activities instead:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with the people you live with
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside (at a safe distance) with your neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your living space
  • Conducting a Halloween scavenger hunt. Give children a list of Halloween-themed things to look out for outside
  • Host a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Host a Halloween movie night with those you live with
  • Host a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search in or around your home with members of your household

Brown also advises that any churches, community groups, and/or not-for-profit organizations that plan on holding safe, low-risk activities this Halloween may contact the Office of Special Events to have their event listed on the Halloween Resource Page. The Office of Special Events can be contacted by phone at 851-4004 or by email at specialevents@buffalony.gov.