PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Halloween is just a few days away, and even though COVID-19 is pretty spooky, it certainly won’t stop people from celebrating the holiday.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that 58% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year.
While COVID-19 hasn’t been completely canceled in Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo did ask residents who had planned parties to cancel them.
Trick-or-treating is still a go, however, meaning kids across the Ocean State are preparing their costumes, and may even still be looking for one.
Though it may not be the first place you’d think of when looking for a Halloween costume, The Salvation Army Family Store has an array of all sorts of disguises to choose from that are sold a significantly low prices.
According to the NRF’s Annual 2020 Halloween Spending Survey, 65% of Americans plan to purchase costumes this year, which is slightly down from last year.
“There’s no telling what we’ll have on any given day,” Administrator for The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Providence Major Brian Thomas said.
Thomas said typically, October is the best month for sales at The Salvation Army since people begin shopping not only for Halloween costumes, but for Christmas and Thanksgiving as well.
But he said the pandemic has certainly put a damper on their sales this year.
“Halloween costumes sales are nothing compared to last year, at least an 80% drop,” he explained.
He also said the pandemic contributed to the closure of three of their stores in Rhode Island.
“We depend on the funds we make in the store to support our program,” he said.
Despite the drop in those sales, Thomas said people have been buying an abundance of indoor fall decorations.
The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Providence, he said, provides 126 beds for both men and women struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Thomas said it’s an extremely expensive program to run because it’s completely free.
“We feed them, we house them, we have counseling and programs,” he said.
Prior to COVID-19, he said the program usually helped hundreds of people each year.
Thomas said the 6-month program also helps those who may be homeless.
“We try to help you gain the skills you need, get some stability for a while,” he said. “Heal from some of the things that may be contributing to your issues and slowly get you back out to living on your own.”