COVID-19 scares away some upcoming Halloween, winter holiday events
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Even with some holiday events becoming a reinvented version of what they would normally look like, Halloween will only be a ghost of its past this year in many locations.
Traditionally there are special events on Coast Village Road, called Ghost Village Road for the day, along with the downtown Santa Barbara Trick or Treat event for kids and the Milpas Trick or Treat strolling street party.
Aside from decorations, that will be the extent of the large business involvement. Notices have gone out to essentially say "see you next year."
Online there are virtual events including the "Thriller" dance and the Scott Topper LIVE Virtual Halloween Costume Contest Dance Party which will be a CADA, or Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, fundraiser.
Some businesses are decorating their windows and adding fall decor.
The Santa Barbara Downtown Organization will have a new socially distanced marketplace starting in early November. Executive Director Robin Elander also says she is meeting with other downtown leaders from several cities to share ideas as a way of keeping their economy vibrant during the pandemic. "I visited Ventura to see what they are doing and exploring different things," she said.
At the International Downtown Association conference a lot of ideas were shared and many cities were asking about Santa Barbara's new promenade and parklet designs.
"We are keeping up with some cool stuff and people are looking at Santa Barbara because we are pushing the envelope and we pushed it early," she said. "This is going to be a really beautiful experiment to see what is going to come of State Street."
Not everyone has given up, however.
Arnold Buckner at the Antique Alley on State Street said, "even though it is not as exciting as last year it's still happening. We got our stuff together and put it outside so people can see it."
The window display has a few bizarre items too.
Buckner looked at a tall bald man figure with strange eyes and said, "I bought that thing years ago and it used talk," he said. People would be scared by the strange voice coming out of it.
One business, the Foxtail restaurant already has a Christmas tree up above its parklet.
Watch tonight on KEYT NewsChannel 3, KCOY NewsChannel 12 and KKFX Fox 11.