Elgin announces new drive-through Halloween event, prefers residents skip trick-or-treating due to COVID-19

Driving through woods at night

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The city of Elgin would rather you skip trick-or-treating this year, but they're not going to stop you.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines classified trick-or-treating as a high-risk activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, so as an alternative the city of Elgin has created a new event called Little Park of Horrors.

"Halloween will be looking different in Elgin this year," said Molly Gillespie, city of Elgin communications manager, in a statement. "With no Nightmare on Chicago Street this October, and trick-or-treating being discouraged by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the city will instead be keeping the Halloween spirit alive with a new, alternative event, Little Park of Horrors."

Little Park of Horrors is a half-mile, in-car event, described as "a socially distanced, drive-through event designed to chill guests to the bone with its horror-themed props and creations." Visitors will experience "sprawling skeletons, creepy circus clowns and cavernous dwellings, all set to lighting effects and spooky music."

The event will run nightly starting Oct. 22 through Nov. 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Wing Park. Saturdays and Sunday presentations will feature live actors and atmospherics.

Little Park of Horrors is open to vehicle traffic only. Pedestrians will not be allowed in. Vehicles must enter on Wing Street and exit on McClure Avenue, following a one-way traffic route through the park. Little Park of Horrors has a suggested cash donation of $5.00 per vehicle to support the actors and volunteers involved in the event. This experience is rated PG13.

But for those who choose to trick-or-treat, city officials recommend taking appropriate safety precautions, such as wearing a mask, limiting group size, and social distancing. Trick-or-treaters should limit activity from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Trick-or-treating safety tips can be found at cityofelgin.org/trickortreat.

Homeowners who choose not to participate should leave their front-door exterior lights off, officials said.