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City sets Halloween as trick-or-treat night

Leaving it up to residents on whether to participate, Vandalia officials agreed on Monday to set a trick-or-treat night.
The decision on whether to continue the trick-or-treat night tradition in light of the COVID-19 pandemic came after a brief discussion during Monday’s city council meeting.
Alderman also had information on whether other communities are allowing a trick-or-treat night due to a survey conducted by City Administrator LaTisha Paslay.
City officials agreed on setting Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31, as this year’s trick or treat night.
Trick-or-treating hours are 6-8 p.m. for children up through sixth-grade age.
Some communities have decided to cancel their trick-or-treat nights due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Mayor Rick Gottman said if possible, the city wanted to allow trick-or-treating in light of other activities, including the Halloween Parade, being canceled.
“We’re taking a lot away from the kids,” Gottman said.
But, he said, the city does not want to give the impression that the coronavirus is not serious.
“It’s real,” Gottman said.
As is always the case, those residents who will welcome trick-or-treaters leave their porch light on; those who wish not to participate do not have a porch light on.
Later in Monday’s meeting, Clint Simpson of the local State Farm agency said he is working with other agencies in organizing a Halloween Festival.
In light of the Vandalia Lions Club’s decision to cancel this year’s Halloween Parade, Simpson is working with the Lions Club on the event, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Vandalia Lake campgrounds.
Simpson said the event will include trunk-or-treating from 2-5 p.m., a petting zoo and a performance by the Vandalia Community High School band’s drum line from 5-6:30 p.m. and a movie at dusk.
Simpson said that he has spoken with Fayette County Health Department Adminstrator Melissa Storck about holding the event safely, and that he has also connected with the city police department and county sheriff’s office about their assistance.
He said that those attending will have the opportunity to make donations to the Vandalia Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program.
While Simpson was hoping to use the bath house in the campgrounds, Alderman Russ Stunkel, chairman of the lake committee, said that the bathhouse is being shut down and secured for the season on Oct. 12.
After some discussion about changing the shutdown date, which Stunkel said would be expensive, city officials agreed to provide Porta-Pottys for the event.

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