Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announces Halloween event alternatives

Virtual costume contest planned later this month

Matt Hollinshead,
A giant plastic spider looms over trick-or-treaters at the Cunningham Haunt House in Farmington on Oct. 31, 2019.

FARMINGTON — As COVID-19 continues to impact life in New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced some safe Halloween event alternatives that people can enjoy in lieu of the traditional trick-or-treating, costumer parties and haunted house events.

The events, announced in a press release on Oct. 6, include a virtual costume contest. Kids, adults and groups can submit photos of themselves in costumes from Oct. 11 to Oct. 25 online at The public will vote on the best costumes from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, and the winners will be announced on Halloween.

People can also find Halloween arts and crafts tips, as well as recipes for Halloween treats, on the TogetherNM website.

"This is a year like no other, as we all know," Lujan Grisham stated in the release. "We can’t spend time with friends and our neighbors the way we want to. But a holiday is a time to remember that we are all together in this struggle even when we’re physically apart, and I hope New Mexico families can safely enjoy this Halloween by partaking in some of these safe, fun events."

According to the release, the state’s guidelines will mirror national guidelines put forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it comes Halloween activities that should be avoided. 

Those “higher-risk” activities include:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hay rides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

The lower-risk actives include the following:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with

The state’s public health guidelines —  including the requirement to wear face masks at all times in public and the restriction on gatherings of more than 10 individuals — also apply to all prospective Halloween events and activities.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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