LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If Halloween wasn’t scary enough for families across the Commonwealth, the pandemic is disrupting plans this year for area retailers.
“Very much into Halloween and Halloween costumes and everything that goes with it,” explains Stephen Schneider.
This year’s plans for families like the Schneider’s are looking slightly different from Halloween traditions riskier in the middle of a pandemic.
“They’re going to do just a pretty small socially distanced trick or treat. Some folks are going to put out some stuff out on the street and just a small group of people are going walk up and down collect candy,” says Schneider.
The CDC recently issued guidance to families like Melissa Blade on discouraging traditional activities such as trick or treating or large gatherings to reduce the spread of the virus.
“This weekend I think we’re going to have just like a small house party with just the kids, let them dress up, eat candy, and kind of party where they won’t have to be outside,” says Blade.
Even though health officials are encouraging parents to make changes, Tracy Caulfield Johnson, owner of Caufield’s Novelty in Louisville, was forced to rethink their century-old business model.
She tells Spectrum News 1,” We were very unsure. We bought very lightly and I think that people are finding that that’s the case across the country. It’s a little harder to get stuff.”
While costume sales are usually the hot item for the business, Caulfield-Johnson says decoration sales have spiked this year compared to others.
Despite several obstacles, the third generation family-owned business faced as they saw a decline in sales, but the owners and employees are remaining optimistic.
“It was definitely a later start to the season. So we are usually getting really busy in September and it didn’t really get busy until probably the second week of October.
The shop is open year-round and relies on sales from Halloween.
“Between Kentucky Derby and Halloween that’s probably 75% of our business so yes, it was definitely very very scary for us.”
It seems October 31 may not be cursed this year as the company is seeing a spike in sales in the last two weeks.
“People are ready to celebrate even if they have to do it on a smaller scale and business has been good recently.”
As we inch closer to the day of Halloween, both Blade and Schneider are still determined to find a way to celebrate the spooky holiday.
“Halloween is a big deal for us so I still want them to enjoy it and have somewhat of a normal,” explains Blade.
“We don’t want her to miss out on the fun what goes with holidays like Halloween or Christmas and things like that so it’s kind of a tradeoff, but the main thing is try to keep her safe and happy and see if we can’t enjoy a crazy holiday,” adds Schneider.
The state Department of Public Health is also encouraging Kentuckians to reach out to neighbors to discuss ways to ensure social distancing and safe distribution of candy.