Turning Greenport into a Halloween village for a safe celebration amid pandemic

Business owners in Greenport are trying to paint the village orange, purple and green in time for Halloween.

Though many popular events have faced cancellation because of the pandemic, Greenport Business Improvement District board member Nancy Kouris said she still wanted to observe the fall holiday in the village. 

“People don’t want to give up everything,” she said Friday.

Over the next week, the BID is encouraging merchants and businesses to decorate their storefronts with festive decor in an effort to turn Greenport into a Halloween village.  

Fewer families will venture out for traditional trick-or-treating this year, an activity the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has deemed as a high-risk activity, but Ms. Kouris is hoping to offer a safe alternative.

The safe trick-or-treating event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 and participating businesses will follow guidelines to keep the activity safe, like using a gloved hand to distribute treats instead of allowing children to reach into a communal bowl.

Ms. Kouris said the parklets, which offer space for outdoor dining and shopping, will also be decorated and visitors should look out for Halloween-themed specials at restaurants and photo-ops for selfies and family photos throughout the village.

Families can also opt to participate in a scavenger hunt around the village as students from the Greenport High School drama club walk around in costume to add to the festivities. Ms. Kouris, who owns the Blue Duck Bakery on Front Street, said the scavenger hunt can be completed without entering into all of the locations. “My thought was how we can get people moving safely around the village, keep social distancing and have some fun,” she said. “It’s something we can hopefully build on.”

The Halloween event will also feature virtual components including a spooky children’s book reading and demonstrations by local merchants.

Anyone participating in the event is asked to use the hashtag #GreenportBIDHalloween for a chance to be featured on the Greenport BID instagram. Merchants, employees and visitors alike are encouraged to dress up in costume—and remember to wear a mask.