The city of Dayton has purchased $15,000 in candy to pass out at the Fall Harvest event from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Kettering Field.
During the drive-thru Halloween event, city staff and volunteers will pass out candy while wearing PPE and limiting contact as much as possible, said Stephan Marcellus, Dayton’s recreation division manager.
Each bag of candy also will contain a face mask for future use, and large numbers of visitors are expected, he said.
Marcellus said about 4,500 people came to last year’s event at the Dayton Convention Center.
But he said he expects 5,000 to 6,000 visitors to the Kettering field softball complex.
That’s because door-to-door trick-or-treating isn’t expected to be as popular this year, given concerns about the coronavirus.
Car lines will be allowed to form on North Bend Boulevard starting at 5:30 p.m. They will enter the boulevard from Helena Street.
The car line will be cut off at 7:30 p.m. or when candy supplies run out. Children must be present to receive candy.
Hauntfest, the popular Halloween party in the Oregon District, has been canceled this year for health and safety reasons.
The Oregon District has been designated Dayton’s first Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), which allows people to take alcoholic drinks outside on the street nearly every day of the year, with a few exceptions.
The DORA is not in effect on Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s unclear what kind of crowds will come out to the Oregon District on Saturday, since outdoor drinking won’t be allowed, except possibly for patios.
Emily Menenhall, co-owner of Lily’s Bistro and vice president of the Oregon District Business Association, said she hopes the district will be a normal Saturday on Halloween and it will be “business as usual.”
She said the district has tried to get the word out that there will not be a large street party and there is no outside drinking.
They hope to discourage large crowds from gathering on what typically is a popular night for partying and merry-making.
“We can’t have a ton of people congregating,” she said. “We hope folks will come out to shop, enjoy a beverage inside and meals at our restaurants but understand that for most of us, we’d just like it to be a regular Saturday where we can adhere to the state-mandated guidelines.”
Out on 5th, a pilot program that shut down East Fifth Street to automobile traffic on the weekends, ended last weekend. The program launched the first week of September and originally was supposed to last until the end of this month.
Shane Juhl, co-owner of Toxic Brew company, recently told this newspaper he wished East Fifth Street would close down for Halloween to give visitors room to space out.
“People are going to come down here anyways,” he said. “Everyone is going to cram in the bars."
“I understand the reservations,” he said. "It would just be a lot safer ... if the streets were closed.”
Staff writer Jordan Laird contributed to this report.