In the city of Lincoln the answers to the questions
have come about via a network of discussions at city council and a
meeting with the downtown business group who participate in ‘Trick
or Treat with the Mayor’ each year. The general consensus appears to
be that not only should it not be prevented, it should be embraced
as a time to give local children a sense of normalcy and a source of
That same feeling is extended to the Lincoln Park District, where an
annual Halloween Fun Fest has been held for many years. Though the
park district wants to embrace the holiday, they also want to keep
visitors safe. In order to do that, they have come up with a new and
Lincoln Park District Halloween Haunted Trail
Friday, October 23rd
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This year, the park district will host an outdoor event where
visitors remain in their cars and drive through a specially designed
According to Jaylee Swinford at the park district, there will be no
vendors this year handing out candy. That set up would put vendors
and children at risk.
Instead, park district staff are creating a drive thru trail that
will feature fun and spookiness. As cars enter the park district,
they will drive to the back of the property. Each vehicle will be
greeted by members of the park district, and a bag of treats will be
given to each child. Then the vehicles can drive through the trail
and exit via another driveway on the property.
Children and parents are encouraged to dress up in their costumes so
as to get into the spirit of the night. However, no one will be
permitted to exit their vehicles and walk about on the trail.
The park district has provided a map to help the drivers understand
how this year’s celebration will play out.
Everyone is encouraged to go out and take part in this new and
unique Halloween activity.
Trick or Treat with the Mayor
Saturday, October 31st
10 a.m. to approximately noon
In the early part of October acting mayor Tracy Welch paid a visit
to the Downtown Lincoln business group’s weekly meeting to talk
about Trick or Treat with the Mayor.
Welch said he really wants to keep the tradition in the city of
Lincoln, keep children safe and support the businesses. He turned to
the business group and they made a plan.
This year, Mayor Welch will be set up at Latham Park from 10 a.m. to
11 a.m. October 31st. Families will start at the park with the mayor who will give
them a map of the downtown area with participating businesses
Families are then encouraged to go individually to each of the
retailers on the map. They are asked to keep their distance from
other groups and to not crowd the retailers who are passing out
To safely distribute candy, kids will be asked to open their bags or
hold out their baskets for retail staff to drop candy into their
Protective face masks should be worn. The Illinois Department of
Public Health issued a statement that a Halloween mask is NOT a
suitable substitute for a face mask. The protective face mask must
be worn under the Halloween mask. If this is restrictive to the
child’s breathing, then the Halloween mask should be removed, NOT
the protective face mask.
The IDPH also recommends that children should not be permitted to
eat candy during the event and should wash their hands thoroughly
when they get home before getting into their treats.
Another good suggestion for parents might be to have some alcohol
wipes on hand for occasional cleaning during the route. These wipes
are available at several stores in Lincoln.
There will not be a parade with everyone walking together. Because
there will be no official gathering it is imperative that children
be accompanied by adults this year.
It was also noted that there will be volunteers at the intersections
to supervise and help maintain the safety of the families as they
As of this week, most of the downtown businesses have
signed up to participate.
Trick or treat downtown to be from 10 a.m. to noon.
It is an outside event. The business owners will be prepared to
handout treats during this time period.
[to top of second column]
Trick or Treat in Lincoln
Saturday, October 31st
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Trick or Treat will be allowed in the city of Lincoln on Saturday
October 31st from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The standard rule applies, those
who wish to hand out candy should have their porch lights on, and
children should only go to homes where those porch lights are on.
Lincoln aldermen all agree that they want to give area children
something that resembles what they have always known at Halloween
time. Kids have taken a big hit because they have not been permitted
to do some things they have always taken for granted, such as going
to school, participating in the Fourth of July children’s parade, or
just attending a carnival or fair.
The city encourages those passing out candy and those accepting the
treats observe some of the basic coronavirus guidelines. Maintain
social distancing and as recommended by the IDPH, wear a face mask
under the Halloween mask, or wear a protective face mask only.
Trick or Treat at the Don and Janice
The home of Dr. Don and Janice Sielaff and daughter Anna in Lincoln
is a Halloween haven where children flock each year on Trick or
Treat night for a walk through the elaborately decorated front yard
to the porch where they receive treats courtesy of the Sielaff
family. Each year hundreds of children go to the Sielaff home
located on Tenth Street in Lincoln.
For the past few years, the Sielaff’s have petitioned the city for a
block party status on trick or treat night so traffic could be
blocked in front of their home. The family sought this for the
safety of the children.
This year the Sielaff’s are not seeking that block party permit from
the city. A recent discussion with Janice revealed that though they
are not seeking that designation, the family IS planning on handing
out candy on trick or treat night in Lincoln. Like many others, they
are altering their plan from previous years so as to protect
visitors and themselves from possible transmission of coronavirus.
Janice said, “Don had decided despite covid he was still decorating.
Everyone seems to enjoy his decorations. He enjoys it so much! We
have enjoyed sitting outside these past few nights just watching the
cars going by. People have texted and shared how much their children
enjoy the display. It’s about making memories and having fun too!
Thinking we all could use a little fun.
“We hope people stay home and start their own covid traditions, but
we are realistic knowing people will be out and about especially if
the weather is nice. We will be donning our masks and gloves and
plan on handing out treats from the fence. We will not be allowing
people up on the sidewalk to our door, so they will have to view the
display from the sidewalk that runs parallel to the street,” Janice
While the Sielaff’s are hoping for an orderly event where a line
forms at one end of the property and passes by to the area where the
Sielaff’s will be handing out treats, then proceeds on to the other
end of the property.
There is no telling how many people will be out trick or treating on
Halloween night, but there seems to be indications that if the
weather is nice the numbers will be high. Based on the gigantic
turnout at Gail’s Pumpkin Patch this past weekend, people are
itching to get out and do something fun that does not remind them
that we are in the midst of a pandemic. Even so, the reality is that
we are in the midst of a pandemic and caution has to be practiced to
protect our children and those handing out treats.
The community is reminded that it is best to go to the homes of
people you know, and ONLY go to homes where the porch light is
turned on. The porch light is the universal signal that trick or
treaters are invited.
Families should travel together in small groups. They should keep
their distance from other groups, wear their face masks and not eat
candy during their trick or treating event. All hands should be
thoroughly washed when returning home, and having alcohol wipes on
hand for occasional hand cleaning during the night is good advice.
Homemade treats should not be handed out and parents should
carefully inspect all candy packaging before children are permitted
Illinois Department of Public Health Issues
COVID-19 Halloween Festivities Guidance
The 3 W’s still
apply – Wash your hands. Watch your distance. Wear your mask