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Anne Arundel residents, and rest of country, careful, but hopeful as they prep for Halloween

Interviews suggest that local residents in Anne Arundel County are taking a similar attitude to the upcoming Halloween holiday as their fellow Americans who have been surveyed, A wait-and-see attitude regarding the pandemic’s Delta variant prevails, yet many seem to be optimistic.

According to Goodwill's annual Halloween survey which came out Monday, three in four Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year. Forty one percent plan to celebrate by giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Another 34 percent plan on wearing a costume or dressing up and/or decorating their homes. Others (24 percent) expect to attend a party either in person or virtually with family and friends.

Fabiola Mather, from Annapolis is excited for the holiday this year, she said.


“I think we’re going to do the same thing as last year where I packaged individual baggies for social distancing,” she said, “I set them outside. It was a hit. The kids loved it.”

Mather said her neighborhood takes children around in a trolley during Halloween. She noted the trick-or-treaters have not really abused the system of putting candy out rather than in-person handouts.

“Our neighborhood is pretty festive,” she noted. “All the houses decorate for the most part. I’m very excited.”

She noted it was important to be careful regarding the pandemic. While she didn’t venture out of their own neighborhood last Halloween, she indicated the cautious approach had also proved effective last year in allowing children to have fun while keeping things relatively safe.

“I think we’re going to try to do the same thing,” she said. “We’re still trying to adhere to some advice on how to stay safe.”

The national survey reflected similar sentiments among Americans in other places. Seventy-three percent said that safety concerns will have some impact on their Halloween plans. Most said their Halloween will be impacted a lot (32%) or somewhat (29%), while 12% feel their plans will be impacted a little. Many were concerned about the availability of vaccines for children or members of their friends and family who were unvaccinated.

If this year’s Anne Arundel Halloween is anything like last years, the fun-loving spooky spirit of the holiday will not be dampened by the pandemic,

A tour of neighborhoods on October 31, 2020 revealed an unusual abundance of outdoor decorations adorning homes and yards in our area. The trend seemed to be for more extensive and grander decorations, from pumpkins to giant blow-ups. It rivaled even Christmas’s legacy of creative expression through decoration.

Goodwill’s survey also revealed that many American’s will be returning to thrift shops to design do-it-yourself Halloween costumes. Two-thirds (66%) of adults who prefer DIY costumes say they or members of their household turn to social media and websites for DIY costume ideas and inspiration. Pinterest (32%) and YouTube (31%) are the top-cited social media platforms, followed by Facebook (22%), Instagram (20%) and TikTok (15%).

While some folks will be dressing up to scare the trick-or-treaters or put a smile on their faces, others will be going out to parties to impress their pals, and enjoy a refreshment.

Halloween parties are a sign of the season, and 2021 may offer a bit more than last year did.

Larry Schwartz of Annapolis. said he likes drinking and living it up with friends on Halloween. He didn’t know if he would get the chance to go out because of family obligations. He has enjoyed games of poker on Monday nights with friends at a local establishment, he said, and remembered fondly parties of the past.

“I’m hoping to get out,” he said. “I’ve always loved Halloween. I like to be part of the entertainment—not the only part.”

Despite the pandemic, and maybe a little because of it, Anne Arundel residents are looking to have a very happy Halloween this year—just like the rest of our nation. Ghouls, ghosts, massive lawn decorations, are sure to bring some smiles and fun to our communities once again,

“All the kids—they enjoy it so much,” Mather said. “They’re so creative. That’s why I enjoy it so much.”