ADAMS, Mass. — The town will bring a trick-or-treat to the kids of Adams this year, and town vehicles will drive through each precinct to distribute candy.
Police Chief Troy Bacon rolled out the town's modified Halloween plans at Wednesday's Selectmen's meeting and instead of encouraging door-to-door trick-or-treat, town vehicles driven by town employees will distribute candy throughout the town.
"I think tonight we just want to get a consensus of what our plans for Halloween are," Town Administrator Jay Green said. "Everything that we do in 2020 seems to be somehow affected by COVID-19, and we do our best to offer some positivity in the town especially for our young ones."
On Tuesday, the state announced that there would be no state mandates for trick or treating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the state directed residents to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's guidance in regards to trick or treating during the pandemic.
Berkshire communities are determining how they will deal with door-to-door distribution of candy. North Adams is holding trick-or-treat and issued a list of cautions. Pittsfield also set hours and cautions but did discourage residents from trick or treating altogether.
Town Administrator Jay Green said Bacon, the code enforcement officer, and the Board of Health over the past few weeks have met to discuss possible safe trick-or-treat options. Green referenced the CDC's guidance and noted door to door trick or treating is considered high risk.
After talking with other communities, Bacon said they developed a plan to utilize the Highway Department, the Fire Department, the Police Department, and the Forest Wardens who will drive through each precinct to hand out candy on Halloween.
"I can tell you that the town departments that I have asked to help are energetic, and they are excited about the event," Bacon said. "They want to help, and it brings some sense of normalcy and happiness to our community."
Bacon said vehicles will be equipped with public address systems playing Halloween music. He said they will make multiple trips through the neighborhoods.
"Keep your windows open a little so you can hear the vehicles, and I don't anticipate doing one swap," he said. "We will be able to hit every street maybe multiple times so bear with us if you don't see us right away. We will get there."
He said there will be two people in each vehicle so candy can be handed out on both sides fo the vehicle. He said volunteers will wear masks and gloves.
Green said this limits contact and is a far safer option than door-to-door trick-or-treat, especially with a large elderly population.
Bacon asked that the trick-or-treat hours be set from 5:30 to 7. He said he would like to wrap up before it gets too dark out.
The chief said there is a need for candy and donations are being accepted at the police station. He said candy must be factory sealed. He added that people can also donate money.
Bacon said he would rather have more candy than not enough.
Selectman Joseph Nowak said the town has always been supportive of its children. He said he has always received donations from local businesses.
Selectman Richard Blanchard asked if the town could outright ban door-to-door trick-or-treat and feared that kids may still attempt it.
Green said the town can only "strongly discourage" trick-or-treating. He said they can only ask residents to adhere to their recommendations but cannot control the decisions individuals will make.
"That is their choice but in terms of a townwide turn-your-lights-on and hit it, no not this year," he said. "This decision was made of the greater public good and safety."
Chairman of the Board of Health David Rhoads agreed and urged residents to also avoid Halloween parties or venture to other communities.
Rhoads did say the Board of Health will review the plan at the next meeting to give it their blessing, but he personally was supportive of it.
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How Do You Cook a Turkey?: From the Mouths of 5-year-olds
By Mrs. Poirot's Kindergarten ClassGuest Column
Kindergarteners at Hoosac Valley Elementary working diligently at home to share their Thanksgiving recipes.
ADAMS, Mass. — Each year, the kindergartners in Robin Poirot's class at Hoosac Valley Elementary School offer their estimations on how long it takes to cook a turkey — in sizes ranging from three to 100 pounds.
Their Thanksgiving recipes are always amusing and sometimes enlightening, particularly the choices of stuffing, but we must strongly caution against following any of their directions as a matter of public health.
Well, first you would have to go to the store and grab a 10-pound turkey. After I bring it home in a bag, I would put it in the oven for only 3 degrees for 5 minutes. That will definitely turn the color brown. That is how you will know that it is ready to eat! When it cools, we eat it with lots of mashed potatoes on the side. YUM!
I would buy our 100-pound turkey at the new Adams Market. It would be so heavy that we would have to pull the turkey and drag it to the car just to make it there.
Each year, the kindergartners in Robin Poirot's class at Hoosac Valley Elementary School offer their estimations on how long it takes to cook a turkey — in sizes ranging from three to 100 pounds.
Their Thanksgiving recipes are always amusing and sometimes enlightening, particularly the choices... click for more
Interim Chief Troy Bacon is participating in the search committee to find his replacement after informing the town he would not be seeking the permanent position and returning to Indiana. Bacon had been hired in the summer on the retirement of Richard Tarsa.
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The board of directors of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Friday voted to start the winter sports season no earlier than Dec. 14 and to move wrestling to the spring in hopes that the sport will have a path to competitions later in 2021. click for more