Elgin not encouraging trick-or-treating, announces new haunted drive-through at Wing Park
The city of Elgin would like you to skip trick-or-treating this year, but they're not going to stop you.
As an alternative, the city has created a new event called Little Park of Horrors, which will run nightly from 6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 22 through Nov. 1, at Wing Park.
"Halloween will be looking different in Elgin this year," said Molly Gillespie, city of Elgin communications manager. "With no Nightmare on Chicago Street this October, and trick-or-treating being discouraged by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the city will instead be keeping the Halloween spirit alive with a new, alternative event, Little Park of Horrors."
In a news release Monday, the city cited the CDC guidelines that classify trick-or-treating as a high-risk activity during the pandemic and said it's not encouraging trick-or-treating this year and is "recommending alternative options for celebrating the holiday."
For those choosing to trick or treat, city officials recommend taking appropriate safety precautions, such as wearing a mask, limiting group size and social distancing. Officials said trick-or-treaters should limit activity to 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, and homeowners choosing not to participate should leave their front-door exterior lights off.
As an alternative, the city said its new Little Park of Horrors is a half-mile in-car event billed as "a socially distanced, drive-through event designed to chill guests to the bone with its horror-themed props and creations." Visitors will experience "sprawling skeletons, creepy circus clowns and cavernous dwellings, all set to lighting effects and spooky music." Saturdays and Sunday presentations will feature live actors and atmospherics.
"We shared in the community's disappointment with the difficult but necessary decision to cancel Nightmare on Chicago Street this year," special events coordinator Kate O'Leary said in a news release. "Staff put their heads together to develop a safe and exciting alternative event, and, along with the creative minds behind Nightmare on Chicago Street, Little Park of Horrors was created."
Wing Park will be closed to the public daily at 3 p.m. Oct. 22 to Nov. 1. The Wing Park Golf Course will not be affected by the closure.
Little Park of Horrors is open to vehicle traffic only. Pedestrians will be prohibited. Vehicles must enter on Wing Street and exit on McClure Avenue, following a one-way traffic route through the park. The PG13-rated event has a suggested cash donation of $5 per vehicle to support the actors and volunteers involved.