Beloved Wakefield trick-or-treat tradition cancelled

As COVID-19 counts continue to spike across the country, a group of volunteers in a Quebec town have been forced to cancel their popular Halloween tradition.

On Chemin Burnside in Wakefield, Que., volunteers usually organize a yearly Halloween party that draws in hundreds of children from surrounding communities.

However, organizers have decided to cancel the event because of COVID-19, meaning the roads will not be closed to traffic as in past years.

Land artist Mark Walter lives on quaint street. He installed a massive cedar skull on his front lawn. Walter decided to bring it home after his exhibit in Gatineau ended.

"I don't know what will happen this year," Walter says. "It’s a fun event, it's a neighbourhood event … it's a nice activity for the kids to do."

That group of volunteers normally collect donations from the community to provide candy for each house on the street to hand out for the hordes of trick-or-treaters. 

Area councillor Claude Giroux says although the municipality helps by closing the street to traffic the decision to cancel the event was made by the organizers.

"It’s very well attendedl the street is full of children," says Giroux. "You have children going door-to-door and they’re enthusiastic about it…it’s a bit like herding cats. You can't social distance ... it's very, very sad but wise."

COVID counts in Quebec have been on the rise, with triple digit increases over the past couple of weeks. In Ontario the numbers have also spiked leaving government officials questioning whether Halloween is just too scary to take part in this year.

Earlier this month, Ontario premier Doug Ford voiced his concern over door-to-door trick or treating.

"Let’s play it by ear and see what happens over the next month or month and a half for Halloween, but it makes me nervous kids going to door with this."