The city of Auburn will be hosting a Drive Thru Tick or Treat in place of the normal Downtown Trick or Treat event. In this photo, two "astronauts" enjoy the festivities downtown last year

With the spookiest season upon us, Auburn residents have plenty of opportunities to join in the fun over the coming weeks. While many may be opting for a celebration in quarantine, the city of Auburn is hosting a variety of Halloween events for all ages.

Auburn Parks and Recreation will be hosting a Drive Thru Trick or Treat in place of the traditional Downtown Trick or Treat to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines. This event will be held on Oct. 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Auburn Parks and Recreation Complex off Opelika Road. 

According to Sarah Cook, special events coordinator for the city, the event will still be fun despite social distancing requirements.

“With everything that’s going on, we want to host a light-hearted event for our citizens,” Cook said. “We still want people to be able to celebrate while staying as safe as possible, too.”

Participants must arrive in their vehicles at the Drake Avenue entrance of the trail and will then be directed around the complex to get treats from city employees, firefighters and members of the community. The city is asking attendees to remain in their car at all times.

City officials are also encouraging attendees to still dress up in Halloween costumes and decorate their vehicles in their “spooky” decor.

“We are looking forward to seeing people come out,” Cook said. “Despite Covid, we are still pushing forward with our events as a community ... even if those events look a little different than normal.”

Cook also encouraged those who are looking for other Halloween options to check out other events the city will be hosting for Halloween this year. 

For the creative Auburn crowd, The Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center, in collaboration with the Auburn Arts Association, is hosting a 2020 Pumpkin Competition, with entries being accepted until Oct. 27. 

Taking after last summer's Sidewalk Chalk Challenge, JDCAC and AAA are challenging the Auburn community to create a masterpiece out of a fall staple — the pumpkin. 

Emillie Dombrowski, art education specialist for the city, said that this competition is a great and unique way for Auburn residents to put their creative sides to the test. 

“We saw so many beautiful art pieces during the Sidewalk Chalk Challenge and part of that was people’s want to find something interesting to do during quarantine and stay-at-home orders,” Dombrowski said. “With more people staying home this Halloween, I fully expect us to have a ton of masterpiece pumpkins submitted for the competition.”

The competition will feature four categories: Most Creative, Best Mixed Media Effects, Best Carve and Best Children’s Work. 

“The categories are just a testing point so we can categorize what exactly we are looking for,” Dombrowksi said. “We plan to award prizes to those who win each category.”

There is no entry fee to take part in the competition. Interested residents must submit a registration application on auburnarts.org or attend in-person registration at the Auburn Parks and Recreation’s Harvest Market on Oct. 24, from 8 a.m. to noon. 

City officials are encouraging families, children and local businesses to apply. Judging will take place on Oct. 28 and 29, with winners being announced on the AAA’s Facebook page on Oct. 30. 

For more guidelines, information and examples, Dombrowski encouraged all residents to head over to auburnarts.org.

While the pandemic has put many normal events on hold, neighborhood trick or treating will still go on this year. Despite Halloween falling on a Saturday, the Auburn Neighborhood Trick or Treat has been moved up to Friday, Oct. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. because of Auburn's home football game against LSU. 

Other Halloween events include the Downtown Merchants Association's Spooky Scavenger Hunt, which will run from Oct. 25 through Halloween. Active Auburn will hide a pumpkin at a downtown business and post a picture every day on its Facebook page. The first person to find the pumpkin each day will win a prize.

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