The city of Dixon became the first community in Webster County to officially approve hours for trick-or-treating on Monday night during a regular scheduled meeting of the Dixon Commission.

First, commissioners heard from local youngster Chloe Shoots, who presented the commission with a request to allow trick-or-treating in 2020 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She suggested that if necessary, the city could ask residents to package Halloween candy individually rather than handing it out a handful at a time.

Mayor Carolyn Townsend then told commissioners that she had also been contacted by local church groups seeking city permission to hold trunk-or-treat on Halloween. Often groups will use the parking lot behind the county courthouse or in front of the library for these events.

“My only concern is that we always use the community center for the backup location,” said commissioner Steve Shoots. “I don’t think we can do that this year.”

Not all of the city commissioners were supportive of the trunk-or-treat movement.

“I think trick-or-treating will be fine, but I’ve been involved with trunk-or-treat for several years,” echoed commissioner Terry Webb. “They line up 100 deep back there.”

“I’m not going to dictate to a church how it can conduct business on its own property,” Shoots said.

“Why can’t we just allow them to make up their own minds about what they do on their own property?” asked commissioner Dusty Heady. “Let them govern themselves on their own private property.”

After a little more discussion, the commission voted unanimously to approve trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The motion included recommendations to all residents to follow the CDC COVID-19 playbook, as well as a suggestion to bag candy individually and leave it on the porch for trick-or-treaters to avoid face-to-face contact.

The city does not plan to interfere with church groups hosting trunk-or-treat events, but those groups are strongly urged to follow established COVID-19 guidelines.

In Providence, mayor Doug Hammers has presented his proposal for trick-or-treat to the public. That proposal will come up for a vote at the next city council meeting, schedule for Monday night at 7 p.m.

Hammers’ proposal would set trick-or-treat hours from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. It also includes a requirement that candy be individually wrapped and placed outside on a porch or table.

Clay Council meet Tuesday night after press time, and the city of Sebree will met next Monday at 5 p.m.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069