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Local Halloween events look a little different this year

Whistler, Pemberton adjust trick-or-treating due to COVID-19
Halloween maze PHOTO BY ALYSSA
One Halloween event happening in Pemberton this year is the Field of Screams maze down Pemberton Meadows Road.

For the last 36 years, the Tapley’s Farm neighbourhood has been a spooky hub for Whistler’s Halloween revellers.

But like almost everything this year, Oct. 31 will look a little different. After provincial officials said that the annual gathering—which can see anywhere between 600 and 700 people stream through—was not pandemic-friendly, organizers officially cancelled. 

“We’re definitely sad, but we’re going to go ahead on a smaller scale and welcome the kids from Whistler Cay,” said Julia Smart, who has helped host the event, which involves collecting donated candy, bussing people into the neighbourhood, and fireworks, for the last 17 years. “If there are a few stragglers with nothing going on in their neighbourhood, they can come down, but it won’t be the usual Tapley’s Halloween.”

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that Halloween isn’t cancelled this year, “it’s just going to look different, like everything is looking different this year.”

She is encouraging trick-or-treaters to head out only in small groups, ideally in their own neighbourhood, and pick up candy from the end of a driveway. She also encourages pre-packaged, individual treats. 

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control, meanwhile, is also encouraging people not to attend any Halloween parties, to turn off their porch light and stay home if they’re sick, incorporate a mask into their costume, and wash their hands or sanitize often. 

Likewise, Halloween in Pemberton will look a bit different. The Glen neighbourhood similarly will not be hosting large-scale trick-or-treating with community candy donations. 

Homes that are participating in trick-or-treating will have their porch lights on. 

As a COVID-19-friendly alternative to an indoor haunted house, Laughing Crow Organics—adjacent to the Beer Farmers down Pemberton Meadows Road—will be repurposing its sunflower maze and turning it into a haunted sunflower maze on Oct. 23, 24, 30, and 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. 

Dubbed Field of Screams, it will take place in the same sunflower maze from the summer, only the flowers are now wilted and more than a little spooky looking. Organizers suggest you dress for the weather—including appropriate footwear for the slippery ground—leave your pets at home and consider that it might be too scary for kids under 10.

Parking is limited and anyone attending is asked to use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool before coming. “Respect social distancing and bring a mask (or wear a scary one!),” the event page said.

Admission is cash donation to PAWS, the local animal rescue.

Tickets for Field of Screams are available here