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Spooky at a distance

Area Halloween events trying to find ways to celebrate safely

Photo by Deb Gau Volunteers like Kendra Moyars helped get the “Haunted Tower on Erie Road” ready for the Halloween weekend. Halloween events in the area have had to adapt to COVID-19 precautions

MARSHALL — While COVID-19 precautions have changed some of the festivities, there are still some area events planned to celebrate Halloween this weekend. In Marshall, events like the “Haunted Tower on Erie Road” are taking steps to bring the scares while still social distancing.

“I think the big thing was the community was looking for things to do,” said Cassi Weiss, director of Visit Marshall. “We really just wanted to find a way to do it safely.”

Weiss said the Haunted Tower event at the MERIT Center is taking steps like limiting attendance to help make it safer for visitors and workers. This year, visitors had to reserve a time slot in advance — and while it means fewer people will go through the tower on Friday and Saturday night, there’s still been a good response. Organizers said the schedule is fully booked up with visitors.

Safety concerns have been a big question for Halloween celebrations this year. Agencies like the Minnesota Department of Health are cautioning people against activities that bring a lot of people close together, like indoor costume parties or going door to door trick-or-treating.

Weiss said the Haunted Tower will also be requiring masks and allowing for more time between groups of visitors.

Other area events will still allow kids and families to have some Halloween fun while following safety precautions. On Saturday afternoon, businesses in Marshall’s downtown will be open for trick-or-treating. Around a dozen participating locations will have treats for kids, including local businesses on Main and Third streets as well as the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council and the Lyon County Museum.

The Downtown Trick or Treat event will be from noon to 4 p.m. Trick-or-treaters are asked to respect social distancing and wear a face covering when going inside a business.

Samuel Lutheran School in Marshall will also be holding a COVID-friendly Trunk or Treat event from 2-4 p.m. Saturday in the school parking lot on Village Drive. Masks will be required, but there will be plenty of candy and family fun.

The Tracy area community will be getting into the Halloween spirit Saturday with a Trunk or Treat sponsored by the Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce. The event starts at 4 p.m. at the Sanford Tracy parking lot on East Union Street. Social distancing will be encouraged, and masks will be required for people handing out treat bags.

At the same time the Trunk or Treat is going on, families are also encouraged to walk around the Prairie View Senior Living building. Prairie View won’t be able to allow trick-or-treaters to visit inside the building this year, but residents will be watching for kids in their costumes through the windows.

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