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ADDC, Parks & Rec preview Halloween plans

The City of Albemarle has changed its plans for a series of events during October.

Main Street Manager Joy Almond told downtown businesses in an email that plans changed due to the state’s status of Phase 2.5 of COVID restrictions.

Almond said the City Special Events Committee met to discuss “the best (and safest) way to move forward with the Autumn Extravaganza, comprised of the Thursday Fall Festival/Trick-or-Treat, Friday Night Frights, and Saturday Street Festival.”

The Fall Festival and Kids Costume Parade event was attended by around 5,000 people last year, Almond said.

“With this many people, there is concern that we cannot regulate this large of a crowd, which is currently a requirement for NC COVID restrictions,” Almond said. “Therefore, for this year, we are revamping this event to create a kid-friendly activity where children can still dress up and participate.”

Instead, the city will host a two-week scavenger hunt, Oct. 16-30. Children will have the opportunity to dress up and explore downtown, with a grown-up, to seek and find items within downtown shops during business hours. Attendees will be provided with a card, similar to bingo, which participating businesses will stamp.

After the card is filled, children can take these to Stanly County Public Library to redeem a prize.

The Costume Contest, which is hosted by Albemarle Parks & Recreation, will be virtual. Participants will submit photos Oct. 1-23 to parks@albemarlenc.gov to be uploaded to Facebook. When uploading, include the parent’s name, name of the child, contact information and the age category of 0-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 or 9-10. There will also be a group category which can be a family or other group.

Contestants will be placed in categories and judged by the number of Likes the photos receive. Prizes for the Costume Contest will be awarded through Parks & Rec.

Photos will be posted on Facebook for people to Like from Oct. 23-30.  Winners will be notified on Oct. 30.

Ghost tours, hosted by the Stanly County History Center, will also be virtual on Oct. 30. Links will be posted on social media for the city and ADDC.

Parks & Rec will also have Food Truck Friday Oct. 30 at City Lake Park, along with a movie at the amphitheater.

“We feel that the open outdoor setting gives attendees the space they need to socially distance, so that we are still compliant with COVID restrictions,” Almond said.

To round out the month, an outdoor craft fair will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 31 at Market Station. This is also the final day of the farmers market.