Halloween 2020 different in East GR neighborhood

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Fears of coronavirus kept many at home this Halloween, but those who did go out trick-or-treating will tell you that things were very different.

An East Grand Rapids neighborhood known for its legendary trick-or-treating was just one example.

“This street is normally gridlocked with cars (because) there’s normally so many trick-or-treaters,” Luanne Bleiler said. “We usually have to give out at least 1,200 pieces of candy.”

This year, neighbors said the turnout was one-tenth of what it has been in the past.

“We’ve seen a lot of the neighbor kids, but otherwise the crowds that we normally get we haven’t really seen,” Steve Ratliff said.

While some people handed out candy wearing gloves and a mask, others got creative by building a chute to toss down the candy.

John Geode uses a chute to toss down candy in East Grand Rapids on Oct. 31, 2020. 

“We just wanted to keep social distancing,” John Geode said. “I thought this was kind of a fun idea to be able to chute out candy… (and) it’s actually worked out really well, the kids have loved it.”

 East Grand Rapids home posts sign asking trick-or-treaters to come back in 2021 on Oct. 31, 2020.
East Grand Rapids home posts sign asking trick-or-treaters to come back in 2021 on Oct. 31, 2020.

A handful of houses on the block chose not to hand out candy this year, not wanting to risk exposure to the virus.  

“This year we’re not handing out candy. We’re handing out messages of civility and telling people to vote,” Phil Iorio said. 

People stand outside to encourage people to be civil and vote in East Grand Rapids on Oct. 31, 2020.
People stand outside to encourage people to be civil and vote in East Grand Rapids on Oct. 31, 2020.