After careful consideration and review of Wisconsin Department of Health, Jefferson County Health Department and CDC guidelines, The Lake Mills Main Street Program has cancelled its Witches Night Out event. This Halloween themed event offers trick-or-treating at participating downtown businesses and was originally scheduled on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
This free community event began in 2006 and the number of attendees has increased each year.
“We really look forward to this event and will miss the creative costumes and seeing everyone gather downtown, but the Executive Board felt it was in the best interest of the community, schools and businesses, to cancel this year,” said Alisa Smith, executive director, Lake Mills Main Street Program. “Community safety is our top priority, and with the turnout last year reaching approximately 3,000 attendees, it’s not feasible to keep people spread out enough to maintain safe social distancing.”
Maintaining a safe environment at our schools was another factor in the decision to cancel. The #Keep COVID Out! safety initiative, recently launched by several Lake Mills community groups is a local effort to keep positive coronavirus cases out of the schools.
Smith commented, “Cancelling this event could be an important step in keeping classrooms open and district staff safe.”
Witches Night Out is an independent business district event and not a cancellation of traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating. Smith stated she spoke with city officials regarding trick-or-treating and the City of Lake Mills provided the following clarification:
While Halloween is a nationally recognized celebration, the city historically has not provided general guidelines for trick-or-treating times and does not organize nor orchestrate activities or events related to Halloween. The city has no legal authority to cancel Halloween or restrict the free movement of its residents during this celebration. Residents may make their own decision regarding trick-or-treat activities.
The Executive Board was disappointed to have to make this decision.
“We already put Witches Night Out on the calendar for 2021 and hope to see the sidewalks full of costumed families gathering again next year when the time is right,” Smith said.