Trick-or-treaters had plenty of places to show off their costumes and collect candy on Saturday, from Ram Island to Silver Beach and scores of stops in between.
The cancellation of the traditional Halloween parade to prevent COVID-19 risks was a momentary blip, before Islanders went into action to devise creative options. Shelter Island Library Director Terry Lucas organized a “Driveway Trick-or-Treat Halloween,” providing treats, and a list of houses that registered for children to visit for more treats.
On Saturday between 1 and 3 p.m., costumed ghosts and goblins could collect their treats by following a map provided by the library. The Historical Society and Camp Quinipet, as well as several Islanders, set out treats to be picked up safely.
Parents and children were reminded to observe social distancing at the various sites, waiting until others had moved on to approach the house. Typical Halloween masks were not deemed sufficient protection, so trick-or-treaters wore the type of protective masks they wear at school or in local businesses.
The weather cooperated, and Ms. Lucas declared, “It went very well. The parents seemed very happy and the kids were just having a lot of fun.”
Ms. Lucas stressed that keeping the staff and the community safe and healthy was top of mind in planning any activity these days. Even once the threat of virus has passed, though, she said she would like to do this in the future.
“I think the volunteers and the families all enjoyed themselves,” she said.
At the far end of the route, the Hakim household prepared for visitors with an assortment of chocolates provided by the library.
“I think at least 60 bags of candy were taken,” said Alexandra Hakim. “I didn’t expect so many kids would trek out to Big Ram but they did,” she added.
The family was one of a few dozen who had made the decision to stay past the summer and enroll their children in school on the Island. She compared the Island Halloween experience with what they had known in the city.
“In the past we have given out candy at our apartment,” she said. “However, trick or treating outside really beats trick or treating in a windowless hallway. Also, I think since the homes are more spread out than apartments, the anticipation and excitement can build a little more between each stop.”
Her son James, 4, and two-year-old daughter Claire enjoyed watching all the kids come out of their cars and run excitedly to the treat box at the end of the driveway, Ms. Hakim said. “The trick or treaters all seemed so happy. Many of them skipped or ran to get a treat,” she said. “It was really cute.”
The Hakim family also went to Smith Street, where the town had organized trick or treating between 4 and 6 p.m. Treats were put out at the Center Firehouse and police officers made sure traffic was controlled to ensure safety.
“It had a wonderful charm and warmth to it,” she said, of seeing the year-round community in action. “I better understand how tight knit and welcoming they are,” Ms. Hakim said. “Also, my son James was speechless that he saw his teacher, Mrs. Brigham, handing out candy on Smith Street. He’s still trying to figure out why she doesn’t live in her classroom.”
More photos below, by Beverlea Walz: