While some government officials across the country have called to cancel trick-or-treating this year because of the coronavirus, there will be at least one address still holding Halloween festivities: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The White House announced Friday that First Lady Melania Trump will host a Halloween event.
“On Sunday, October 25, 2020, the White House grounds will open to ghosts, fairies, superheroes, tiny goblins and other costumed trick-or-treaters as celebrations commence for the Trump Administration’s fourth annual Halloween festivities at the White House,” the statement reads.
Despite studies that show the virus is not a significant threat to children, some areas of the country such as Los Angeles, California, have more or less canceled traditional Halloween events altogether.
A statement from the Centers for Disease Control calls “traditional Halloween activities high-risk for spreading viruses.”
According to the CDC, these “higher risk activities” include “traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door,” “Attending crowded costume parties held indoors,” “Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming” and even “Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.”
Instead, the CDC recommended that people decorate pumpkins, decorate their house, or have a “virtual costume contest.” The CDC considers these to be “lower risk activities” — it’s also fair to say these are “lower fun” activities.
The White House’s approach
The first lady and President Donald Trump, however, are going to keep the holiday spirit alive this year, and they are going to do so responsibly, in a way that promotes the safety of all involved.
The White House specified that capacity for the event is limited, face-covering and social-distancing will be required, hand sanitizers will be available, and a “no-touch approach” will be taken to distributing things, including candy.
“The President and First Lady will greet trick-or-treaters as they pass by the South Portico of the White House,” according to the bulletin.
The White House also has several activities lined up for guests, including, “an array of traditional Halloween songs and modern tunes” by the United States Air Force Strolling Strings, “fun photo opportunities” involving the Departments of Labor and Education, and “a display of an inflatable rocket” and other “space-related items” by NASA.
According to the White House statement, the special event with be open to frontline workers, military families, and school-age children, accompanied by their parents.