Dowagiac residents finding creative ways to have fun, safe Halloween

DOWAGIAC — Halloween and trick or treating may look different this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but residents in the area have come up with ways to have a fun, safe experience.

Several Dowagiac residents, including Dowagiac Mayor Don Lyons, have joined the growing trend of creating candy chutes to safely distribute candy to trick or treaters.

Lyons was inspired to construct a chute after reading a Washington Post article about Andrew Beattie, a Cincinnati resident who constructed a candy chute and made a Facebook post garnering more than 85,000 shares.

“I read [The Washington Post] every day,” Lyons said. “I came across that article and realized that we’ve got the perfect front porch for a chute that fits all the requirements for social distancing. We wanted to make what may have been a difficult trick or treat exciting.”

Halloween candy chutes can be constructed in several different ways. Lyons’ chute consists of PVC pipe, orange and black decorative paper and zip ties. Another popular design is a long cardboard tube, taped to a railing, that homeowners can decorate and use to dish out candy to trick-or-treaters.

“A lot of people are inventing ways to keep everyone safe,” said Dowagiac city councilwoman Danielle Lucas. “I just think people know that they’re not supposed to be so close to the kids and are trying to think of ways for the kids to stay safe and have fun.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider traditional trick or treating a “high risk” activity and advises families to not participate. For a “moderate risk” activity, the CDC recommends participating in “one-way” trick-or-treating, where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance, such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard.

Lyons hopes families participating in Saturday’s trick or treating have fun while also taking the necessary safety precautions.

“I think everyone is legitimately concerned,” Lyons said. “But if there’s a way to do this safely, I think it makes perfect sense to pursue it.”

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