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Last year, we all know that Halloween was definitely not the experience families were looking for with a pandemic in full swing and CDC guidelines warning people not to gather and keep to themselves as much as possible. A lot has changed since then, fortunately, although we are still dealing with the pandemic to a lesser degree. Caution is following guidelines is still a way of life but slowly, life has gotten more and more "back to normal" to an extent at least.

Thank goodness for the return of many things we all used to take for granted, like Halloween events. Last year was very disappointing with the Oneonta Halloween parade canceled, along with other Halloween events in the local area.

What's happening:

Wednesday, Oct. 27

The Oneonta Boys & Girls Club is hosting its first-ever "Trunk or Treat" event from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the parking lot of the club. This is a free event open to members and the community and replaces the annual Halloween party to keep everyone safe. This is for kids in 5th grade and under to come and enjoy games and treats. Halloween costumes are encouraged.

Thursday, Oct. 28

The SUNY Oneonta campus will host a Halloween Creepy Carnival on the quad at the center of campus for community families. The carnival is free and runs from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. This event is hosted by the SUNY Oneonta Office of Residential Community Life with college students serving up snacks and other treats for kids. There will also be Halloween-themed activities for the children to enjoy. In addition, a raffle will raise funds for the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club.

Friday, Oct. 29

Huntington Memorial Library is once again hosting a Pumpkin Glow event from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in Huntington Memorial Park, just outside the library. Jack-o-lanterns carved by area residents of all kinds will be illuminated for your enjoyment. People are invited to submit their own jack-o-lantern creations for the glow. You can even vote for your favorite one. Destination Oneonta will award a $50 gift card for the best one in the "People's Choice Award" and other prizes will be awarded as well. The theme for this year's glow is "Your Favorite Spooky Story".

For those who would like to take advantage of a generous donation of pumpkins from Chestnut Park Rehab, you can request one to carve for the glow event by sending your request by email to HuntingtonMemorialLibrary@gmail.com or call 607-432-1980.

Saturday, Oct. 30
Enjoy two Oneonta events. The first is the much-loved Downtown Oneonta trick or treating at Downtown businesses. That is taking place from noon to 2:30 pm. At the same time, enjoy a new "Trunk or Treat" event at the Main Street Baptist Church (corner of Maple and Main St.) that is hosted by the Hampshire House adult home. Families can come to the parking lot of the church for kids to receive treats for this safe, outdoor celebration of Halloween.

Sunday, Oct. 31

Noah's World at 144 Roundhouse Rd. is hosting a "Trunk or Treat" event from 1:00  to 3:00 pm to allow for safe social distancing. There will be at least 25 businesses handing out treats to kids. Because of the overwhelming response to this event, families must register at noahsworld.net. Time slots are first-come, first-served.

The Oneonta Rotary Club is organizing the Halloween parade this year which will happen at 4:00 pm (new time!). The parade organized by the Oneonta Rotary Club this year will line up on Elm St. starting at 3:00 pm. This is my favorite parade since it's so fun to not only see everyone IN the parade dressed up but many of the parade onlookers and even pets get dressed up for the occasion. Talk about fun!

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