By: Crystal Cervantes (Loyola Senior), Eric Maurer (Loyola Senior), Jimmy Lynch (Loyola Sophomore), and Seth George (Loyola Senior)
Every day is as scary as Halloween during a global pandemic. For the residents of Edgewater and students at Loyola University Chicago, finding a way to celebrate the holiday during a pandemic is proving difficult.
This Halloween is going to look different: no matter the costume, masks are going to be worn by everyone, groups need to be of six or less, and willpower will be tested as candy should only be eaten at home, after washing one’s hands. There are a lot of regulations to keep everyone safe. While trying to abide by these regulations, different organizations in Edgewater and surrounding communities are still trying to make Halloween a spooky night.
Every community is going to be impacted by the pandemic when it comes to celebrating this spooky holiday.
Janet Franz, President of the Lakewood Balmoral Residents’ Council, explains how different Halloween will look in their neighborhood. “In normal years, Lakewood Balmoral neighborhood welcomes about 1500 trick-or-treaters from both our neighborhood and surrounding communities,” she said. “Obviously, this year is different.”
Even though this is usually a popular holiday in the Lakewood Balmoral community, many residents are choosing to not participate this year because of safety concerns.
Another neighborhood that will be attempting to make the most out of this holiday is the community of Edgewater Glen. Some people will not be celebrating this year but are still encouraged to participate with decorations. All participants throughout the community will be wearing masks and are encouraged to get out before 6 P.M. to reduce crowd sizes.
The President of the Edgewater Glen Association, John Dale, said, “So much is uncertain these days, and everyone has their own unique set of circumstances. So, a consistent message will reduce anxiety all around — or that is what I am hoping. And I really, really want to preserve the Halloween tradition in Edgewater Glen.”
Similar to the neighboring communities, Loyola University had to alter their holiday plans. Adam Gentry, the President of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, had to find new ways to host Beta’s annual Halloween philanthropy event. With Loyola being closed, the event had to have activities centered around using Zoom.
Gentry said, “Instead of our annual haunted house in Dumbach Hall, we will be hosting a 3-day Halloween themed online event that will feature a presentation on Haunted Chicago, tarot readings, and a trivia competition.”
With Loyola not offering any events on campus this year, students will have to rely on outside events. Loyola students will be hosting small house parties with their close friends to celebrate. Despite COVID-19 regulations being enforced by the city, some students still feel uncertain about celebrating Halloween during a pandemic.
Thinking outside of the box is the only way Halloween is going to be celebrated this season. Regardless of how people celebrate, everyone needs to make sure they keep safety in mind.
For more information on Chicago’s Halloweek regulations, please visit: https://www.chicagohalloweek.org/