|Halloween in Fort Thomas this year has something for every ghost or goblin.|
By Robin Gee, city council beat editor
Although the celebration of Halloween 2020, like so many events this year, will be different, Fort Thomas city officials are inviting residents to several fun activities to celebrate the year’s spookiest day.
Last week, Kentucky health officials released guidelines for safe trick-or-treating with no surprises for area municipalities. Fort Thomas announced trick-or-treating would go forward with safety precautions in place. Yet, officials wanted to do more.
As expected, costume parties, haunted houses, hay rides and festivals that attract large crowds are to be avoided. However, the city is offering a host of safer alternatives in addition to trick or treating, including a home decoration contest, a Jack-o-lantern carving and contest, a drive through Pumpkins & Goblins Tour and an outdoor performance of "Into the Woods" by UC Music Theatre.
- Tuesday October 27 — House decorating contest
Back for a second year, the 2020 contest features three categories: "Trick or Treat Street" for the best decorated street; "Spooktacular" for the most over-the-top dressed from “rooftop to graveyard in Halloween fun and "The Pumpkin King" for homes with yards with the most and best use of pumpkins, Jack-o-lanterns and gourds. To participate, email Sam Shelton or call 859-572-1209 and leave your name, email address, home address and contest category.
- Tuesday and Wednesday, October 27 and 28 — Jack-o-lantern carving and contest
This event runs over two days. From 3 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday or Wednesday, the first 200 families can pick up a free pumpkin from the Mess Hall in Tower Park or they can provide their own. Carve your pumpkins and bring them back for the contest to be held Wednesday night.
You can drop off pumpkins between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Categories for judging include "Everything," "Characters and Faces," "Traditional," "Scary," "Unique" and "Preschool/Uncarved." Winners in each category will receive a prize, and all entries will be displayed in the Pumpkin & Goblin Tour.
- Thursday, October 29 — Pumpkin & Goblins Tour
Join in the fun at a drive-through (only) tour in Tower Park from 7 to 10 p.m. Enter Tower Park off Army Reserve Road (off River Road) and drive through to check out the Jack-o-lanterns, inflatable displays, light projections, spooky fog and music. Jack-o-lanterns from the contest will be displayed.
- Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31 — Two performances of "Into the Woods"
Performed by UC Music Theatre, "Into the Woods" is a Stephen Sondheim musical featuring a different take on traditional fairy tales and fairy tale characters. The performances will run from 6 to 9 p.m. both days in the Tower Park Amphitheater. Be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the show.
- Saturday October 31 — Halloween "Trick-or-Treat"
Halloween door-to-door Trick or Treating will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. with precautions in place to make it a fun and safe event.
Last week, Kentucky health officials released guidelines for safe trick-or-treating. Based on these guidelines, Fort Thomas officials shared some tips:
- Stay within their neighborhoods
- Wear face coverings over their nose and mouth (traditional Halloween masks aren’t enough protection)
- Walk with family members, not those outside your household
- Maintain social distancing (don’t mix or crowd with others not in your group)
- Place individually wrapped treats outside the home on porch, table or driveway
- Avoid handing candy directly to kids
- Avoid bowls or boxes where kids will have to root through them
- Find creative fun ways to distribute treats that maintain social distancing
- Wear masks that reflect the theme of Halloween
If you choose not to participate; simply alert trick-or treaters to pass by your house (leaving the porch light off is the traditional signal). If you do participate, make it fun and safe!
Mayor Eric Haas said the city’s goal is to "provide our community with options that match their comfort level as we navigate this challenging time through a pandemic. We want to emphasize compliance with CDC guidelines for everything we offer to create safe environments but still make fun opportunities for the kids and the entire community," adding, "Halloween is such a great holiday for kids, so we want to offer several options where residents can choose whether to participate and still experience Halloween spirit!"