During a special presentation at Globe’s Sept. 8 regular meeting, City staff provided a Covid-19 update regarding future special events, specifically Halloween. City Manager Paul Jepson said that the configuration of the event currently and the requirements by the state are incompatible.
Globe’s annual Halloween event has been known to draw in a crowd of up to 5,000 people, with trick-or-treaters coming from all over Arizona to partake in the contests and candy. “People may have masks on but it would be impossible to keep everyone 6 ft apart,” said Jepson.
Globe PD Commander and part of the City’s Covid team, AJ Castaneda, addressed the council asking how can the City endorse an event that outside of the Light Parade is the second most populated event in downtown Globe. “While some of those attending may be wearing masks, chances are they will be scary masks and not meet requirements,” said Castaneda. “If Halloween was tomorrow we would have to cancel it, but as the numbers keep going down and changing we need to have a plan in place. I think as a City that’s a huge deal to have downtown packed bumper to bumper, shoulder to shoulder. We want to be good ambassadors for the City and make the right decisions.”
Jepson added that the City doesn’t want to become a Covid hot spot. “If we tried to put 6 ft between each family, we would have a candy line that’s seven miles long.”
“Let’s say we are not sponsoring Halloween and we’re not going to hold it,” added Jepson. “Will the business owners just show up and start handing out candy or kids just show up and people feel obligated to give out candy? I think if we don’t have an alternative we may end up with a rogue Halloween event in downtown.”
Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton suggested a drive-by Halloween with side-by-sides going around town and passing out candy to kids in their yards.
“That would be like Santa Claus for Halloween,” said Commander Castaneda.
Council asked that Gila County and the Downtown Association be involved in a future discussion that would allow for further brainstorming on an alternative Halloween event.
The City of Globe is asking the public to turn in ideas or thoughts before the next council meeting on Sept. 22.
The City Council also discussed possible phases for re-opening City Council meetings and Besh Ba Gowah museum.
Jepson stated that the City’s Covid team is meeting regularly and working on a plan to reopen Besh Ba Gowah. “It’s a small store and people can wear masks and practice social distancing,” said Jepson. “We are going to separate the phased opening of the museum with the phased opening for the ball fields. We still have concerns about adult softball. At this time we feel that Besh is ready.”
The City of Globe has been cutting edge in going virtual with their meetings “I think we can do some safe social distancing and sit people in every other row,” said Jepson. “I think we allow anyone who has a stake in an item have a chance to be in here and if anyone wants to speak to the public they could maybe email and ask to be in person.”
The Council went over taking temperature checks and screening the public at the door.
Commander Castaneda suggested putting a TV showing the council meeting outside with a small sitting area. This would allow members of the public to come and go as the council addresses items of interest.
“Yes the numbers are going down but I feel that people are letting their guard down,” said Castaneda. “People are starting to show their cabin fever, but the virus hasn’t gone anywhere. The virus is still here. I think that as leaders in this community and this City we have to be the example and wear masks. We want businesses to be open and the kids to have their Halloween but we never thought we were going to have to negotiate a pandemic. We can plan for events but we have no idea what will happen in a week or two.”