TUCSON, Ariz. — Winterhaven is known for the festival of lights on Christmas, but Halloween is another holiday where this Tucson neighborhood stands out.
“It’s like a public service because other neighborhoods don’t do it,” said Resident John Smith.
Smith says he loves the tradition, but during a pandemic he’s worried about safety. Thousands of ghouls and goblins from surrounding areas haunt this neighborhood every Halloween.
“It gets very crowded,” said Smith. “There’s usually between 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. there’s a group of 20 people in front of your house at one time.”
Winterhaven HOA President Mike Morales says they are reluctantly asking residents to skip the celebrations this year and asking the general public not to come. He says the health department discourages trick or treating as well.
"The recommendation to the neighborhood is to not have a Halloween night, and so that’s probably what’s going to happen.”
Morales says they can’t force homeowners to follow recommendations, but they may be able to block the neighborhood off from the general public.
"We’ll probably ask the city for a little bit of help discouraging people form coming into the neighborhood, but I’m not sure how that is going to work.”
Morales says the festival of lights may need to be modified or canceled as well. While many neighbors may be disappointed, the one we talked to says he thinks it's the safest thing for the community.
“I don’t think there would be a lot of social distancing going on,” said Smith.