In what may be a ghoulish sign of things to come, Hay River RCMP on Wednesday said they had abandoned plans to host the detachment’s annual Spook-A-Rama event for students.
Residents of the Northwest Territories, which practically treats Halloween as an unofficial territorial holiday, have been anxiously awaiting guidance on what form this year’s festivities can take beneath the spectre of Covid-19.
The chief public health officer, Dr Kami Kandola, has indicated she will issue advice regarding Halloween in early October. That isn’t expected to take the form of a formal public health order, but is likely to set out the conduct Kandola believes is responsible for activities like trick-or-treating.
However, RCMP in Hay River said in a news release they had decided Spook-A-Rama – ordinarily held on October 31 – cannot go ahead. Restrictions on gatherings were to blame, police said.
“This is the first time this event has been cancelled since its first edition, 35 years ago,” the detachment said in a statement.
“Every year until this year, hundreds of students have been gathering for this special Halloween event. The community of Hay River have been supporting this event consistently over the last 35 years.”
Lynne Buth, a detachment employee and one of the event’s usual coordinators, said: “We want to thank all the businesses, community groups, and community members who have assisted us over the years to host this annual event.”
Last year, around 160 youth from grades eight to 12 reportedly attended Spook-A-Rama, which featured prizes, food, and a dance.