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Pandemic forces new approach to Halloween for East Hills Mall

This year's Boo Bash replaces the yearly tradition of handing out candy inside the mall.

Posted: Oct 18, 2020 10:46 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The spirit of halloween is back at the East Hills Mall with all kinds of sights and frights to enjoy.

"I think we’ve had great turnout, there's been hundreds of kids through." Tyson Huff-Garza, Marketing Director East Hills Mall said. 

The traditional event usually held inside the mall had to be changed due to the pandemic, Huff-Garza said the move was unprecedented. 

"This is the first time since 1965 that Safe Trick or Treat at East Hills has been cancelled." he said. 

This year’s trunk or treat Boo Bash aims to fill that gap, with mall tenats and other community members handing out candy to trick or treaters from their car trunks in the Sears parking lot.  Many parents we spoke with didn’t mind the changes

"We knew what to expect," Haeley Dowell, parent said.  "We just got everybody together and ready and got our masks and we came out and had fun like we normally would whether it was outside or inside."

Huff-Garza said the Boo Bash was a sucess for the kids as well.

"That makes it all worth the planning." He added. 

While kids were having fun dressed up in their costumes and getting candy, even they had concerns of whether halloween this year would be more trick than treat.

"I was kind afraid that hallowen would get cancelled," Addalyn Stocking trick or treater said.

"We don’t know if we’re gonna stay home or we’re gonna go trick or treating." Caden Pruitt, trick or treater said. 

With so much up in the air, parents said they enjoyed the event and mall staff said they want to be flexible with it in the future.

"There’s some controversy about being able to go door to door and trick or treating," Krista Head, parent said. "We kind of just wanted to bring them out here to try and get some candy and interact with the community a little bit."

"We would do this again," Huff-Garza said  as long as we have a weather day heck we might do one inside one outside you never know.

Due to high winds, a movie scheduled to start Saturday evening was cancelled.  

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Comfortable and mild conditions are set to continue today with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s under partly cloudy skies. Winds will be a bit breezy today with gusts up to 25 mph. A weak cold front will move through the area later this evening. Clouds will build into the area today as the front passes. A few isolated areas of light rain can’t be ruled out as the front moves through. Temperatures will remain in the 70s on Saturday under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will really start to warm up on Sunday with highs in the upper 80s. Above average temperatures will continue through the beginning of next week as sunny and dry weather remains.
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