Residents along popular trick-or-treating route cancel Halloween

Trick-or-treating along Riverside Drive in Ormond Beach has become such a tradition for so many families, the City of Ormond Beach blocks the road so that the quaint one-way street that runs along the inter-coastal is safe from cars each Halloween night. 

The street will be blocked off again this year.  But because of COVID-19 many families who typically go all out decorating the front of their home, spending hundreds of dollars on candy every year it’s not expected to be nearly as busy as usual.

Marvin Miller says he’ll but putting caution tape along his driveway next to the street along with signs, which read, “Sorry Covid-19 shut us down.  See ya 2021” to deter trick-or-treaters from coming to his front door. 

“My wife has a few health issues so I’d rather not have to deal with it. And feel bad the way it’s grown,” Miller said. 

His family has lived along Riverside Drive since 1987.  He, his wife, their kids, and now grandkids have always loved Halloween on their street. 

“All the neighboring cities, they come here.  We love to have them. All walks of life. Different accents, different sizes, different colors. It’s a blast and we really enjoy it,” Miller told FOX 35 News. 

He showed pictures of years past with a sea of children walking down the street and a long line of trick-or-treaters waiting for their turn to show off their costumes and get candy at his front door. 

“It’s wonderful. I have people coming now telling me they came when they were kids,” Miller said. 

Last year he counted 800 children at his door, that’s not including their parents.  He says last year he spent more than $500 on candy at Costco and still ran out.

“We really enjoy it. We love to have them. It’s a shame we’re going to have to skip it this year at least I am and I think several of our neighbors are too going to skip it this year,” the 85-year-old said. 

A few doors down, the caution tape is already up.  In the middle sits a ghost wearing a face covering and a jack-o-lantern with a sign apologizing for not taking part in trick or treating.  The majority of folks living along the quaint tree-lined one-way street telling FOX 35 News they just don’t feel it’s safe to hand out candy this year. 

It's a different story at the Hawthorne’s home. 

“It’s a personal choice whether you trick or treat and a personal choice whether you give out candy and we will absolutely be giving out candy,” Sheldon Hawthorne said. 

She grew up on Riverside Drive. She says Halloween here is one of her favorite childhood traditions.   

“My mom would make a big pot veggie soup to make sure we got our veggies before we gorged on candy, and yeah, those are core memories for sure,” Sheldon said. 

It’s a fun tradition she’s now looking forward to sharing with her own daughter. 

“Obviously I want to take her trick or treating and let her have that experience as well,” she said, acknowledging it won’t be the way she experienced it as a kid this year. 

She hoping to find three or four neighbors’ homes where her daughter can trick or treat.