With Labor Day comes the unofficial end of summer, and with it comes thoughts of Halloween that arrives in less than eight weeks this year. Main Street Jackson is already planning how to engage street businesses to participate in Halloween festivities this year amid a public health emergency.

Jeannette McDonald

Jeannette McDonald, the owner of Gifted at 134 Main Street, is spearheading the effort to have a safe Halloween on the street and thin out the crowds. To do this, McDonald is recruiting Main Street businesses to offer trick-or-treating from 12:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m. on three consecutive days: Thursday, October 29 through Saturday, October 31.

“I had the idea for spreading it over the three days this year,” McDonald said, “and put the idea past several other business owners here on the street.” Participating owners will tie black and orange balloons outside their front doors to let children and parents know if a business is giving out candy.

McDonald wanted to make participating as easy as possible for owners, so she’s leaving it up to them to decide if they want to participate and when. “It may be too much for a business to hand out candy all three days, but they may still want to participate on Halloween. This way, they can still join in.” She added that she doesn’t know which businesses will participate.

Some business owners expressed concern that some kids will keep coming back for two or all three days, but McDonald isn’t concerned. “I kind of don’t care if they do,” she said. “It’s been a rough year for all of us and if (safely) getting in some extra fun and candy comes of it, then so be it. At this point, we all deserve some extra fun and candy.”

McDonald acknowledged the plan isn’t perfect but, she said, “this special version of Trick or Treat on Main Street for 2020 is being offered by the business owners to lift the community during a rough time. and hopefully, it will be received in that spirit.”

Main Street scarecrow

As of this writing, there is no word about if the Jackson Lions Club will produce the annual Halloween parade on October 31. Even if it doesn’t happen, McDonald said, “hopefully next year we are back to one wonderful afternoon with hundreds of little ghosts and witches packed on Main Street for trick or treating.”

When Halloween is over, she’ll manage another big Jackson tradition in November: Christmas Delights. The City of Jackson halted all promotional spending in response to the public health emergency, and the city has no plans to host the annual event. (We’ll have more news as it becomes available. –Ed.)

Public health emergency requirements may change between now and Halloween, so you can find updates and more information on the Jackson Main Street Facebook and Instagram pages by searching for @jacksonmainstreet in the social network app or website. You can also call McDonald at 209-223-1558.

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Photos provided by Gifted Instagram Facebook page (@shopgifted) and Jackson Main Street Instagram profile page (@jacksonmainstreet).