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Halloween in West Hartford, 2020 Style

Hilltop Road resident Matthew Wentworth builds a Halloween "device" every year, and in 2020 it was a socially-distanced Play Doh dispenser. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford community found ways to safely celebrate Halloween in 2020. Updated with additional photos and video.

Halloween 2020. Photo credit: Cara Pauik

By Ronni Newton

Although many thought Halloween might be canceled in 2020 – for the third time in the past 10 years – the West Hartford community found myriad ways to safely celebrate the holiday while following directives from the town and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for physical distancing.

There was Matthew Wentworth’s giant pumpkin Play-Doh dispenser, a device the software engineer created for contact-free delivery to trick-or-treaters.

An application on his phone allowed Wentworth to control the device remotely – although he could also operate it manually from a station hidden behind the wooden pumpkin, Wizard of Oz style.

The Town of West Hartford organized an extremely popular drive-through trick-or-treat event at Sedgwick Middle School, where costumed characters handed out candy Saturday morning. West Hartford Community Interactive captured the scene on video, which can be viewed below.

According to Public Relations Specialist Renée McCue, there were about 70 costumed characters on hand to greet 500 vehicles. She said an estimated 700-800 bags of candy were handed out during the two-hour event.

The drive-through was supposed to end at noon, but everyone stayed until the last car passed through at about 12:20 p.m.

Some residents left candy – either individual pieces or in goodie bags – on decorated tables on porches or near the sidewalk. Others devised delivery methods using PVC pipe or pieces of gutters to create chutes to slide candy onto tables or into the bags of waiting trick-or-treaters.

A 6-foot long PVC pipe was decorated, and the Fritz family slid candy through the pipe into the orange bucket for physically distanced distribution. Courtesy of Kristen Fritz

Some hung bags of candy from clotheslines.

North Main Street resident Matt Warshauer, known for his elaborate Halloween tableaus, added a candy chute to his display.

Warshauer is already working on next year’s display, and although he won’t provide any details, he is asking for donations of skulls from the community. “Any size. Just drop it on my porch. I need a LOT of skulls,” he said. His house is located at 115 North Main St.

Thank you to Cara Pauik and Kristen Fritz who provided photos. Additional photos are welcome, and please email them to [email protected] and they will be added to the gallery.

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A young trick-or-treater retrieves his Play Doh from Matthew Wentworth’s dispenser on Oct. 31, 2020. The skulls planted along the sidewalk designate 6-foot distance to keep lines in control. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Halloween 2020. Photo credit: Cara Pauik

Halloween 2020. Photo credit: Cara Pauik

Halloween 2020. Photo credit: Cara Pauik

Ronni and Ted Newton’s candy delivery gutter. Photo credit: Joe DeLutrie

A porch swing was decorated with ribbon and candy hanging from clothespins for trick-or-treaters to take. Photo courtesy of Kristen Fritz

Mayor Shari Cantor stands by a Halloween candy distribution station on North Steele Road. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

West Hartford Drive-Through Trick-or-Treat event. Oct. 31, 2020. Courtesy photo

Candy chute. Photo courtesy of Thomas Whalen

Halloween goodie bags on Walden Street. Courtesy of Jeannine Stimson

Candy chute through a spider web on Walden Street. Courtesy of Jeannine Stimson

Decorated table with full size bars placed at the edge of the table with nut free and non-candy treats on Walden Street. Courtesy of Jeannine Stimson

Decorated table with full size bars placed at the edge of the table with nut free and non-candy treats on Walden Street. Courtesy of Jeannine Stimson

Neighbors on Garland Road staged a Halloween Parade for the kids (and dogs) on the cul-de-sac on Saturday afternoon. Courtesy of Julia Sauter

Neighbors on Garland Road staged a Halloween Parade for the kids (and dogs) on the cul-de-sac on Saturday afternoon. Courtesy of Julia Sauter

Neighbors on Garland Road staged a Halloween Parade for the kids (and dogs) on the cul-de-sac on Saturday afternoon. Courtesy of Julia Sauter

Neighbors on Garland Road staged a Halloween Parade for the kids (and dogs) on the cul-de-sac on Saturday afternoon. Courtesy of Julia Sauter

Neighbors on Garland Road staged a Halloween Parade for the kids (and dogs) on the cul-de-sac on Saturday afternoon. Courtesy of Julia Sauter

Halloween candy pumpkin pallet at the McClay household on Manchester Circle. Photo courtesy of Kaireen Isaacs

Halloween candy pumpkin pallet at the McClay household on Manchester Circle. Photo courtesy of Kaireen Isaacs

Halloween 2020. Photo courtesy of Heather Walsh

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