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Calgary student creates ‘HalloTube,’ offering safe trick-or-treating option

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A Calgary student has taken a COVID-19 Halloween candy conundrum and turned it into a small business aimed at making trick-or-treating a little safer amid the pandemic.

Braden McMahon has created the HalloTube, a cardboard tube people can use to get candy into trick-or-treaters’ treat bags from a safe physical distance. Each tube is seven feet long and one foot wide.

“You won’t get the kids sick, they won’t get you sick — it’s a safe way of doing it,” the young entrepreneur said.

Read more: Halloween on or off? Dance studios but no gyms? Inconsistencies fill coronavirus messaging

McMahon, who spoke to Global News after school on Wednesday, said he got the idea after seeing a video of Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Tom Sampson use a similar portal to give candy.

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As part of that demonstration, Sampson also stressed the importance of sanitizing after each trick-or-treater transaction, to ensure each piece of candy is safe to give to costumed children.

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“I thought, ‘Why not just make that a reality, because who can find a seven-foot tube of cardboard lying around?’” McMahon said.

To make the tubes, McMahon said he bought a 250-foot roll of cardboard, cut it up into strips and fashioned the tubes using elastic bands.

Read more: Coronavirus: Alberta Health issues guidelines for a safe and ‘scary for the right reasons’ Halloween

McMahon said he didn’t get a job this summer because of the pandemic, and so along with providing Calgarians with a safe option for trick-or-treating this year, he hopes the short-term business venture will help him make money for university.

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“You’ve got one of these, your kid’s going trick-or-treating, you want your neighbor to have these because you don’t want your kids getting sick and I think it’s a great idea – you also contribute to the solution.”

McMahon has four dates and locations planned for selling the HalloTubes:

  • Vivo Centre, 11950 Country Village Link N.E. – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22
  • North East Sportsplex, 5206 68 Street N.E. – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23
  • Brookfield Residential YMCA, 4995 Market Street S.E. – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24
  • Cardel Recreation Centre, 333 Shawville Blvd S.E. – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31

More information on the cardboard candy creation, including how to pick one up outside those hours, can be found online.

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