Trick or treating 2019

Ghosts and goblins crowd the halls of the Mercer Mall at the annual trick or treat event in 2019. With the pandemic still raging across the country, communities are planning special precautions to keep families safe during Halloween.

PRINCETON — Communities across the region are planning trick-or-treating and other Halloween festivities this year, but these celebrations will come with precautions against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Trick or treat will take place in Mercer County this year. During their October meeting, members of the Mercer County Commission approved trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. The commission did not place any restrictions on trick-or-treating, but people will be asked to abide by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Besides practicing social distancing and wearing masks to guard against COVID-19, parents also need to take precautions such as checking their children’s trick-or-treat candy before they eat it, County Commissioner Bill Archer said.

In Princeton, trick or treat will take place between 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 within the city limits. Members of the Princeton City Council decided that there will be no formal celebrations, and masks and social distancing will be required.

The annual Princeton Monster Mash on Mercer Street was canceled this year due to the large crowds it brought to the downtown district during previous Halloweens.

In nearby Bluefield, trick-or-treat will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today. Drivers are asked to be cautious since children will be out in the neighbors during this time.

Trick-or-treat take place in Welch on Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m., according to an announcement from the town.

Another Halloween event in McDowell County is the Keystone Haunted Bottom at Keystone Cinder Bottom on Oct. 31 from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Entry is free. There will be social distancing and masks must be worn.

Bluefield, Va. will celebrate trick-or-treat on Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Bluefield, Va. Town Council urged participants to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. 

Officials with the CDC are recommending that children not wear a costume mask over a protective mask because this arrangement could make it hard to breathe. Using a Halloween-themed cloth mask is a recommended alternative.

Bluefield, Va. citizens who do not wish to participate in trick-or-treat should turn off their porch lights so children will know not to knock at their door, members of the town council said.

In Tazewell, Va., trick-or-treat will be Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m, according to Executive Assistant Robin Brewster. Citizens who do not want to take part should hang a sign on their door and turn their porch lights out so children will know not to knock on their doors.

A trunk-or-treat event by Tazewell Today will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at the former Ramey dealership parking lot off Fincastle Turnpike, Brewster said. It will be a drive-through event only.

Richlands, Va. will recognize Halloween on Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. with the understanding that participation is at the discretion of each individual citizen as far as trick or treating, according to a statement issued by the town.

In Grundy, Va., trick-or-treat will be observed on Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. with the understanding that participation is at the discretion of each individual citizen as far as trick or treating., according to a statement from the town. There will be no trunk-or-treat event this year.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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