Kingston, Ont. holds Halloween festivities for first time since pandemic began

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Trick-or-treaters took to the streets Sunday for the first time since the pandemic began, after getting the go ahead from the province – Oct 31, 2021

Spooktacular scares and tasty treats are an exciting change for trick-or-treaters who, after last year’s cancellations, were looking forward to a return to some Halloween festivity.

Halloween fun began early on Sunday with a treat-filled corn maze at the Fruition Berry Farm to mark the closing day of its fall season.

Read more: Kingston’s nighttime Santa Claus parade gets the go-ahead

“We started doing this last year during COVID because a lot of people weren’t able to go out trick or treating or whatever their circumstance was,” says Christine Paul of Fruition Berry Farm. “We had all of our staff dress up and we were giving out candy at the farm in the maze, in a good, outdoor, socially-distanced setting. So we decided to do it again this year and everybody is dressed up and we still have lots of pumpkins and we’re having a little fun.”

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And the weather didn’t stop the festivities.

“It’s a little wetter this year, but we’re still trying to wear our rubber boots under our costumes,” says Paul.

With safety precautions in place and a green light from the province, Sunday’s fun offers a change from last year.

“I think we’re okay this year, yeah. We’re all taking our precautions and, well, they’re super excited to go out this year,” says mom of three, Shannon, who didn’t share her last name. “We missed last year, unfortunately, of course.”

While the pandemic may have scared off Halloween plans last year, Corbin Gilles-Stoness is excited to resume his annual Halloween Yard Haunt for its fifth year.

Read more: COVID-19 Halloween: What the risks are and how to celebrate safely

“I just like the atmosphere really, and seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they drive by or come get candy,” he says. “Some of them are too scared to go in, but yeah, they love it.”

Gilles-Stoness spent an hour putting his front yard display together and says that he’s planned safety protocols into the tradition through using single-file lines and contactless treat bowls.

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