SHOREWOOD, Wis. - The Village of Shorewood will not be supporting Halloween, and in turn, trick-or-treating in 2020.
"Right now, with trick-or-treating right around the corner, we just couldn't envision thousands of kids coming to the community and spread out on streets like this," said Arthur Ircink, Shorewood trustee.
The board on Monday night, Oct. 5 voted 7-0 to not recommend hours for trick-or-treating based on guidance from the North Shore Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But just because village officials aren't promoting hours, Ircink said trick-or-treating can still happen.
"The police aren't going to enforce it," he said. "The health department isn't going to enforce it, so people can make their own decisions whether they want to pass out candy if somebody comes to their house or not, or if their kids want to try and go out to homes or not."
Gov. Tony Evers' administration issued a new order Tuesday limiting the size of public indoor gatherings as COVID-19 spreads unchecked across the state. Wisconsin has become one of the worst hot spots for the disease over the last month, with experts attributing the spike in cases to colleges and schools reopening and general fatigue about wearing masks and social distancing. The state ranked third nationwide this week in the number of new cases per capita, with 548 cases per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University.
State health officials reported 2,020 new cases on Tuesday and 18 additional deaths. The state has now seen 136,379 cases and 1,399 deaths since the pandemic began.
With all of this in mind, whether trick-or-treating should happen is a much different discussion.
"To make all these sacrifices and then to let our kids go out for some cheap candy just doesn't make sense to me," said Ircink. "We really try to keep the whole community in mind, and the health and safety of our community is the most important."
Halloween 2020, according to Ircink, is about keeping people safe -- and nothing else.
"We have so many great events here in Shorewood that we all had to cancel, and we canceled those events with the numbers much lower than they are right now, so with numbers this high, it just doesn't seem responsible," he said. "We have to keep focused here."