ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says people will be allowed to have alcohol in the streets this Halloween, to allow for more social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bar owners say they really don't know what to expect this Halloween with the pandemic going on, but this change is something they say they've been pushing for for a while.
Halloween in Downtown Orlando tends to be a little rowdy, but this year the spooky part may be just how many people gather in the middle of a pandemic.
"People still want to get out and have that time, but at the same time, you have to allow more room."
That's why Mayor Buddy Dyer says there will be some changes this year due to COVID.
"We're going to allow alcohol on the streets in some designated areas," he said.
"We’ve been asking for open container for years like other big cities do it and we’ve always had the word ‘no’ said to us. So, it’s exciting to hear but we absolutely know nothing about it," said The Lodge Owner Aaron Dudek.
The affected streets have not yet been announced, but Mayor Dyer says it'll happen in highly concentrated areas, "so that people don’t have to congregate in the bars. There’s more open space available for people to be out in the street and be able to socially distance," Mayor Dyer said.
"I think that’s fantastic because I think one of the biggest problems is social distancing."
Dudek owns The Lodge and Burton's in Thornton Park. He says all of downtown should be closed off for Halloween.
"If it goes into certain areas and not other areas, then people get mad. They feel like they’re left out, which is justified," he said.
He's hopeful for a big night downtown Saturday, but like everything this year, COVID has made things weird.
"It’s always a humungous night and we’ve always asked the city to help us along with it because it’s just chaos. We really don’t know what to expect this year," Dudek said.
More details about the Halloween plans for Downtown Orlando are expected to be released in the coming days.