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Nevada City residents, community, adjust Halloween due to COVID-19

As people continue to prepare for All Hallows’ Eve festivities next Saturday, neighbors in a popular trick-or-treating neighborhood in Nevada City have come together and are spreading the word — please don’t go trick-or-treating this year, and instead arrange your own party.

“At least not in the Broad and Pine street neighborhoods,” Former Nevada City Mayor Evans Phelps said.

Phelps’ annual haunted house on Pine Street, a Nevada City staple for decades, has earned her the title of queen of Halloween from many, but Phelps has decided to take her first break in 30 years of hosting the haunted house.

“I may be the queen of Halloween, but I’m not going to be the queen of super-spreaders,” Phelps said about possibly helping to spread COVID-19 through trick-or-treating. “Because last year, and this is not an exaggeration, I probably had four or five thousand visits.”

While some have decided to still decorate their yards, Phelps has chosen to lend out most of her decorations, leaving her yard undecorated so as not to attract the usual crowds.

“This year the neighbors collectively put out a letter to the City Council. We’re going to go black. We’re not doing Halloween this year,” Phelps said.

Trick-or-treat event canceled in Grass Valley

The annual preschool trick-or-treat event conducted by Mill and Main street merchants in downtown Grass Valley has also been cancelled.

“We’re not going to do our traditional preschool trick-or-treat this year,” Downtown Grass Valley Association Executive Director Marni Marshall said. “That’s because of our COVID mandates. However, we have a downtown that is decorated to the T!”

The city of Grass Valley has recently spent thousands of dollars helping to make downtown more accessible and appealing for people to visit during the pandemic.

“We are encouraging people to come down and check out the decorations, take pictures with them, enjoy the nice weather, and shop in costume,” Marshall said. “We’d like to do a contest for spotting the most skeletons and prizes for people who post a picture.”

For more information visit http://www.downtowngrassvalley.com or find it on Facebook.

Halloween happenings

People can also take in and vote for the best window display in a window decorating contest held by http://www.NevadaCountyArts.org and sponsored by Ben Franklin Crafts.

People can check out museum quality installations in some of the vacant buildings, and can vote for one Grass Valley and one Nevada City window display. The winner will be chosen Oct. 31 and receive a $250 certificate from Ben Franklin.

Twin Cities Church will be hosting a free drive-thru Fall Family Festival from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31. People will be able to enjoy entertainment, play (safe and sanitary) games out the window of their vehicle and receive candy. Participants will drive through the parking lot as masked volunteers assist with the event. Those looking for a spookier setting, Grass Valley’s Forester’s Cemetery, off Kidder Avenue, is cleaned up and ready for visitors.

For a full list of Halloween happenings this year, visit http://www.downtowngrassvalley.com/gvda-events/halloween.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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