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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A strong cold front has made its way into northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas bringing much cooler air and a lot of clouds across the area. Friday night and Saturday the cold air will continue to be in place with daytime highs only reaching into the 40's. As the weekend continues we will see increasing chances for rain and maybe some snow. A cold start to the beginning of next week with highs only in the 30's and 40's.
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