Fort Payne Halloween Block Party canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

Northeast Alabama

FORT PAYNE, Ala. – A big event in DeKalb County is being canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. 

The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce has called off this year’s Halloween Block Party. 

Gault Avenue has been shut down the last several years around Halloween so that families can bring their kids to local businesses to pick up candy. 

But this year, they will have to find somewhere else to get their sweet treats. 

Chamber executive director Jennifer McCurdy tells News 19 they canceled in consideration of the community’s health and safety as the coronavirus pandemic continues. 

It is a big disappointment for some business owners who have handed out candy since the very start. 

“We always enjoy it,” said owner of Roger’s Pawn, Music, and Jewelry, Marie Patterson. “We have a great time. There’s tons of kids that come downtown.” 

Patterson said she goes all out every year. 

She showed News 19 a video from past events where she had set up fog machines, music and other Halloween decorations. 

Mccurdy said the small area would make social distancing almost impossible.  “It’s very crowded, you could hardly move the last few years,” said Pieces of the Past owner Roger Sweatman. 

“Last year, I think we gave out almost 2,500 pieces of candy. 2500 kids. That’s a lot and they kept coming,” said Patterson.

Patterson and Sweatman told News 19 that while the cancellation is a letdown, they understand why. 

“I feel like it’s probably a good idea since there is so many people so close together and a lot of hand to hand contact with the candy. It’s a shame but it’s the world we live in this year anyway.” 

“We totally understand it from a business standpoint and with the COVID issues of having to make sure everybody’s safe,” said Patterson  

Patterson said she may still give out candy from her store during regular business hours and include, as they always do, a Roger’s guitar pick. 

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