BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Halloween was a bit trickier this year due to the pandemic but Southern New Englanders found ways to get kids some treats.
In several communities, the police departments stepped up to make sure children had a fun and memorable but also safe holiday.
Starting at 4 p.m., the Bristol Police Department held a Trunk-or-Treat event to give hundreds of families a structured environment in which to celebrate.
The event was held outside and had individually wrapped treats, social distancing, hand sanitizer, and masks — and not just the Halloween kind.
“People are apprehensive about going from house to house, so I think an event like this alleviates that and you can still celebrate the holiday,” Bristol resident Mike Almeida said.
It was the town’s first event of its kind.
“We don’t want the children in the community to miss out this year,” Sgt. Michael Vieira said. “It’s not fair for them, so we wanted to keep the tradition alive.”
Trick-or-treating was still allowed, however, Gov. Gina Raimondo put some guidelines in place. She asked that kids keep groups small, keep their distance, and wrap it up by nightfall. Those handing out candy were expected to leave treats outside their doors.
Tori Coroa, 16, said the pandemic kept her home this Halloween.
“I don’t want to risk my soccer team and I want to keep playing this season,” she said.
Her father told 12 News they had seen a few trick-or-treaters but overall, this year felt much different.
“I’m not personally handing out candy. We put them on a table so kids can just grab them,” Gary Coroa said. “We usually see a ton of kids but this year, I don’t know, hopefully we get a lot.”
During her coronavirus briefing on Friday, Raimondo reduced the limit on social gatherings to 10 and urged people not to host or attend big parties, saying that transmission of the virus is happening in casual social situations.
Trunk-or-Treat events were also held in other communities including Cranston, Johnston, South Kingstown, Woonsocket, and Somerset.
In East Providence, city leaders organized a vehicle parade and put together 2,500 treat bags for kids.
Some families got creative when it came to handing out candy, with some going as far as building catapults and other apparatus.