Black Mountain to offer alternatives to traditional Halloween trick-or-treating

Ty Roush
Black Mountain News
A pumpkin patch set up on State Street in downtown Black Mountain on Oct. 8, 2020.

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Black Mountain is two weeks out from Halloween.

The Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce has recommended residents participate in “alternative Halloween activities” instead of traditional trick-or-treating. To those continuing to trick-or-treat at private residences, its website says to hand out candy with tongs and to wear a mask.

Town manager Josh Harrold said that the town does not plan to make any additional comments or guidelines for the holiday and that those looking to participate should continue to follow state regulations.

To those hoping to participate in the town’s Monster Mash Trunk-or-Treat event, hosted for the first time in 2019, recreation coordinator Clint Bowman says Black Mountain Recreation and Parks is making some changes.

“We’re definitely changing it to make it more appropriate and within line with all the reopening phases so it’s safer for everyone,” Bowman said.

Though typically an event that features games, prizes and hayrides, it will now feature fewer, more spread out vendors with an option for participants to drive through. After featuring 25 local businesses and vendors in 2019, Bowman says the event cut its list to 17.

The idea is to follow state guidelines, which limits outdoor gatherings to 50 people, while still allowing a similar event to last year.

Complementing the new Monster Mash, Black Mountain Center for the Arts is holding a pumpkin carving event “Light Up State Street.” Pumpkins submitted to the center on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 will be placed along State Street on Oct. 29.

Director Lori Cozzi said that the event will provide the town both a “stunning visual impact” and an alternate way for the community to celebrate.

“We’re excited,” Cozzi said. “It’s a first for us. We’ve just really been, like everybody, trying to figure out how to engage the community and provide fun, creative artistic things for people to do during this crazy time.”

Prizes will be awarded to pumpkins best fitting the event’s four categories: scariest, funniest, most creative and artist inspired. Registration can be filled out through the center's website.

The Swannanoa Museum and History Center is also participating Halloween week, hosting a “Haunted Valley Rally Driving Tour” Oct. 23 and Oct. 24. This two-hour car ride will take participants to haunted locations in Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley.

Audio for the tour will be provided through a corresponding phone app.

If you're looking to avoid any public interaction, do what Alderman Ryan Stone said he's doing: stay at home.

“I think we’ll just do something low-key,” Stone said. “I’ve gotten various lights and things that I’m going to string up to the backyard and have some immediate family over, and the girls can dress up and … have as much Halloween experience we can.”