WARREN, Pa. – From social distancing and masks to gathering limits and lost social events, 2020 has been far from “normal.” A group of Warren businesses has banded together to ensure at least one fall tradition goes on as scheduled this year.
(Photo courtesy Snuffy’s Café & Lounge. Kellie McClement and Allison Mineweaser take a break from wrapping goodie bags Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. The pair spearheaded a contactless trick-or-treat event with the help of Warren businesses.)
The group will be providing a contactless trick-or-treat event from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. (or while supplies last) Oct. 31. The event is being spearheaded by Snuffy’s Café & Lounge and Seneca Generational LLC.
“Being an essential worker at Snuffy’s during COVID has truly made me appreciate the normality we used to have,” Allison Mineweaser, who first came up with the idea, said. “My birthday is on Halloween and the thought of having no trick-or-treating started to dawn on me in September.”
Mineweaser called a friend, Kellie McClement, at Seneca Generational LLC to see if they would be willing to donate candy for the event.
“I know that COVID has put a damper on so many events and activities since March,” McClement said. “We just really wanted the kids to still have a great Halloween night and not have another event taken away from them.”
Seneca Generation donated the candy and bags, and Mineweaser started calling other businesses to see if they would be willing to participate. The response was a unanimous “yes.”
“I called 30-plus local businesses near us downtown on my breaks to see if anyone was interested in putting tables outside,” Mineweaser said. “All of them were interested and some even called (me) to ask to be a part of the event.”
With the businesses in place, Mineweaser and McClement turned to the task of putting the goodie bags together.
“Kellie ordered 30,000-plus pieces of candy and some spooky Halloween toys to put in the bags,” Mineweaser said. “We have been meeting up with gloves, masks and the goodies to wrap twice a week since.”
“We have filled bags for almost half of the businesses participating so far,” McClement said.
Participating businesses will have a table set up outside their establishment with their allotted goodie bags. Children may come to each table and grab a bag for a contactless trick-or-treat experience.
“I encouraged businesses to decorate their tables the best they can,” Mineweaser said. “And if they like, someone can represent them by sitting at their tables with a mask or costume on to greet children.”
Organizing and preparing for the event has been a labor of love for both women.
“Personally, (Halloween) was one night of the year I looked forward to as a child to get dressed up and go door-to-door in the neighborhood,” McClement said. “Even still as an adult, to see all the costumes and pass candy out to the kids. I wanted to make sure the kids still had that opportunity.”
“I hope it helps the community have a better holiday,” Mineweaser said.
Businesses participating in this event include: WCCBI; Snuffy’s; NY Style Deli and Pizza; Cronies; RalphE’s Pub; Draft House; Christie’s Downtown Pub & Grille; Jacks Taphouse; The Eagles Club; Anytime Fitness; Bent Run Brewing Company; Goat Fort Climbing; AT&T; Dollar General; Cornerstone; Fat Daddy’s; The American Legion; Fine Wine and Spirits; The Moose Club; Total Evolution – Café and Smoothie Lounge; Pizza Hut in Warren; Second Chance Shop; Gaughns Drug Store; The Arbor Coffee House and Tea Room; First Methodist Church; Tabouli Street Eatz Food Truck on Liberty Street; Warren Pediatrics; Jefferson DeFrees Family Center; Darling’s Home Care; McDonald’s in Warren
Hertel & Brown Physical Therapy; Kinzua Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center; Johnson’s Blackbelt Academy; The Odd Fellows; Blair’s Store Front downtown Warren, Bella Capelli, Penn Wild Outdoors, the YMCA.