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Boo! Spooktacular, haunted house nixed for this year

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group
Bigger-than-life characters will take a year and return next year for Spooktacular.
LVN File photo

The ghouls will be in Fallon this year but only in spirit and without the youngsters.

The annual Spooktacular and Churchill County’s haunted house and hay rides have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spooktacular allowed downtown merchants on Fallon’s historic Maine Street to give out candy to the areas youngsters, but the annual event offered much more. Costume contests were held, and kids could release their energy at the bounce house. During previous Spooktaculars, some businesses hosted a pet costume contest or guess the number of jelly beans in a jar. Law enforcement agencies used Spooktacuar as one of their outreach programs as did the Banner Churchill Community Hospital paramedics and the Fallon Churchill Volunteer Fire Department.

Formerly the Downtown Merchants Association sponsored Spooktacular, but the Fallon Main Street Program has slowly replaced the DMA.

Lisa Gonzales, administrative assistant with the Churchill Economic Development Authority, also sits on the Fallon Main Street Program. She said the board made the decision to cancel Spooktacular because of a lack of response from the downtown merchants. She said only a small number of merchants responded to holding Spooktacular.

“It was too big of a project to pull off,” Gonzales said. ”We had to ensure safety.”

Gonzales said a major concern was ensuring hundreds of trick-or-treaters on Maine Street met social distancing.

Robert Erquiaga, Legal and Administrative director with the city of Fallon, said Mayor Ken Tedford would’ve supported Spooktacular if they met the compliance regulations.

Erquiaga said the city is not establishing trick-or-treating times for Halloween on Oct. 31. Although the day is Nevada’s statehood birthday, and the holiday for schools and many businesses is the preceding Friday, Erquiaga said trick-or-treat is not a holiday or city sponsored event.

Churchill County Parks and Recreation has cancelled events for the rest of the year including the haunted house and hay rides at the fairgrounds.

In September, the 2020 Nevada Day parade in Carson City was canceled.