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Nyack Sketch Log: Halloween At Home

by Bill Batson

In the same way a crafty mom carves out a pumpkin, COVID-19 has hollowed-out our national observance of Halloween. Parades? Postponed. Haunted houses? Shuttered. Door-to-door candy collection? Fuhgettaboutit. Celebrations of our spookiest holiday have been scared away by the most fearsome public health threat since 1918.

But Nyack is scare-resilient.

When Sandy slammed through in late October 2012, we declared the first Saturday in November Boo Sandy Day, and made a substitute candy corridor through downtown. Now the same inventive and intrepid minds are finding ways for you to safely get your spook-on–securely at home or socially distant in public–while wearing seasonally and medically appropriate masks!

What better place to experience Halloween (at home) than in the village that once hosted (and will again) the biggest small town Halloween celebration in America?

Maskcarade

Put your best mask forward and participate in Maskarade. Contestants will have until October 26 to register for a time slot for the grand Red Carpet finale. Click here to sign up.

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Grand Finale participants must walk the carpet on October 30th.
Red Carpet walk will be held between 6:30 – 7p, the winner will be announced at 7:30p. Participants must follow social distance and safety protocols when waiting to walk the red carpet.

Contestants should have tagged at least one participating Nyack Merchant and #NyackMaskarade during the time leading up to the red carpet finale.

There are 2 categories to model your mask after:

  • Design/Creativity/Nyack Safe Haven & Safety
  • Kids Mask – Child 10 and under Winner

Participating Nyack Merchant’s will have a designated Nyack Maskarade Selfie spot! Post a Masked Selfie at a designated location, tag the business and #NyackMaskarade #NyackSafeHaven, and post!

By Tagging #NyackMaskarade and a participating Nyack business, throughout October, participants will have the opportunity to be considered for the Popular Vote Award and will have an opportunity to enter the October 30th red carpet finale.

Visit the Maskarade Facebook page to learn more.

Share the Scare with cards that chronicle local spooky site

Marisol and I collaborated on these cards that are available at Koblin’s at 96 Main St., Pickwick Book Shop at 8 South Broadway and on the next two Thursdays at the Nyack Farmer’s Market.

Like all Victorian’s, the Horton Foote house on N. Bway looks spooky, but the other two have real poltergeist pedigree. One is the Legal Haunted House on LaVeta Pl. and the other was depicted by Edward Hopper in House by the Railroad and became Hitchcock’s inspiration for the Bate’s mansion in Psycho.

We might not be celebrating as we have in the past, but we can still have some scary season in our lives and support two local businesses to boot!

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Halloween From Home

From October 26 to 31, Nyack businesses and residents can post and view Halloween-themed videos and photos on the Nyack Chamber of Commerce Halloween from Home Facebook Group.

Any family-friendly Halloween-themed content is welcome — such as cooking/baking tutorials (the slimier the better), Halloween cocktail recipes (poison optional), DIY decoration tutorials, carved pumpkin pics, decorated home portraits, pet costumes, musical performances, and ghost stories.

Nyack-themed videos are highly encouraged. Along with the videos/photos, businesses are encouraged to include links to their websites, menus, promotions, or events.

All posts will be approved before appearing on the Facebook Group. (Please, no personal photos of costumes or photos of children.) Contributors who do not have Facebook or who need assistance with video or other tech should reach out to the Chamber for support at nyackhalloween@gmail.com.

The watchword for everything the Nyack Chamber is doing in Nyack is focused on safety. Please be mindful of the dangers of virus spread, and continue to monitor public health warnings!

A Sober Message from the Village of Nyack and the Center for Disease Control

The Village of Nyack urged all residents who choose to celebrate Halloween to follow the safety guidance from the Center for Disease Control.

The CDC has split traditional Halloween activities into three categories: lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. Unsurprisingly, the higher risk activities are those that involve close contact with other people, such as trick or treating door to door, hosting “trunk or treat,” where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots, attending crowded indoor costume parties, and going to an indoor haunted house with lots of screaming people.

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Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Upper Nyack Announces No Halloween Activities will Occur


The Village of Upper Nyack will not be closing any streets near Village Hall or Empire Hook & Ladder Co #1 on Halloween, Saturday October 31, 2020.

Empire Hook & Ladder Co. #1 will not be holding their annual Halloween event this year due to Covid-19.

The Village of Upper Nyack does not host any event for Halloween and any trick or treating that takes place is up to individual families.

The Village of Nyack strongly urges families to consider lower and moderate risk activities as recommended by the CDC:

Lower risk activities

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate risk activities

    • Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
    • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
    • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
        • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

      Nyack Sketch Log Haunted History of Spooky Season Entries

      October 28, 2014
      Halloween Edition: Hitchcock Meets Hopper in Haverstraw

      October 30, 2012
      1 Poltergeist Place, Nyack NY?


      October 24, 2017
      4th Best Fright-Fest in U.S

      • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
      • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
      • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
      • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
      • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
      • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
      • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
            • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
            • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.
            • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
            • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

          Higher risk activities

        • Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
        • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
        • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
        • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors

        An artist and writer, Bill Batson lives in Nyack, NY. Nyack Sketch Log: “Halloween at Home“© 2020 Bill Batson. Visit billbatsonarts.com to see more.

        Weld-Sponsor-Graphic_Final

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