Aurora extends trick-or-treat hours so kids can spread out on Halloween
Aurora children will have 90 more minutes to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, Mayor Richard Irvin announced Friday.
"We hope that this will spread out the number of trick-or-treaters," Irvin said, at a news conference outlining the city's approach to Halloween during the coronavirus pandemic.
Aurora will allow trick-or-treating, he said, "but we must do so in a very focused and safe way," he said.
Trick-or-treating will be from 3 to 7 p.m., he said.
The city suggests that households indicate whether they are handing out candy by turning on their porch light.
The city will also have small signs people can post to say they are participating. The signs will be available for printout at aurora-il.org Oct. 1, and handed out Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the customer service center at city hall.
However, the city's popular trick-or-treat event at city hall -- which drew 4,500 people in 2019 -- will be changed to a drive-through event, at Phillips Park, Irvin said.
"We can have fun, but let's make our fun safe," Irvin said.
Marissa Armoni, manager of the Aurora Downtown organization, noted that the downtown's annual Day of the Dead celebration has now become a 30-day self-guided event called Sugar Skull City, Oct. 15-Nov. 15. Details will be available at sugarskullcity.com.
Jason Seneker, owner of the Basement of the Dead haunted house at 42 W. New York St., outlined changes his business is making.
For one, the actors won't be screaming at you eyeball-to-eyeball.
"They're going to give you a good scare. But they are not going to be right in your face," Seneker said.
The actors will wear face masks in addition to whatever costume masks they have on, he said.
Many features that required visitors to touch items, or squeeze through spaces, have been removed, Seneker said.
People will need to purchase tickets online, and there will be timed entries. Groups will be limited to 10 or fewer people, and small groups from different households won't be combined.
Seneker is adding a "night of isolation" on Wednesday nights, where there won't be actors inside the haunted house. "I think it is actually going to be a lot of fun," he said.