Trick-or-treaters walked through the old Lucky’s Market building in Southgate Mall for a socially-distanced Candy Crawl on Saturday.
General Manager of Southgate Mall Tim Winger said the trick-or-treat at Southgate Mall has been going on for at least 30 years, so he was glad that they were able to keep the tradition going despite COVID-19.
Southgate Mall staff worked with the Missoula County Health Department to develop a plan they felt was safe for families. The mall counted a total of 1685 trick-or-treaters at the event.
"We social-distanced groups of people and masks were required at the entrance. We scaled it down: we could only have 150 at a time in here. We have a counter in the front, a counter in the back and we haven't really exceeded 100 people inside here," Winger said. "We had enough stores and enough folks to volunteer to hand out candy and it ended up working out really well.”
Lauren Poppen, the marketing director of Southgate Mall, said that the event looked much different this year. The trick-or-treat event at Southgate Mall used to take place throughout the entire mall, but this year it was moved into the empty Lucky’s Market building.
"If you've been here normally on Halloween, we have three-to-4,000 trick or treaters and it's wall to wall with kids," Poppen said. "We weren't going to be able to run it the same exact way, but we knew families went through so much this year that we still wanted to have some semblance of our normal Halloween."
The mall anticipated less trick-or-treaters because of the pandemic. "It's smaller this year, but we still wanted to do it for the community, for little folks," Winger said. "A lot of neighborhoods aren't doing it this year, so I'm glad we were able to do it."
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