Photo Credits: Kaitlyn Pang / Aggie
Safe Halloween alternative during COVID-19, supported local businesses
In previous years, the Davis Downtown Business Association (DDBA) hosted an annual Trick-or-Treat Trail to celebrate Halloween. In order to comply with social distancing regulations due to COVID-19, the DDBA came up with a new way for folks to enjoy fun Halloween activities while staying safe. This new event was called the 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond.
The official website described the full agenda for the 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond.
“Bring your family and friends to visit your favorite downtown businesses to enjoy our 7 Days of Halloween from Oct 25–31st,” the website reads. “Experience downtown like never before while also supporting small businesses during this pandemic year.”
Aaron Wedra, the marketing coordinator for DDBA, reflected on how he hoped the initiative would help to bring more business to downtown Davis.
“We were most excited about the 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond as a way for the public to support small businesses,” Wedra said. “With the 7 Days of Halloween, we actually set it up in ways that people are spending multiple days downtown doing the scavenger hunt and other activities.”
Davis Creamery Owner Jennifer Schmidt explained that her experience with the 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond was great overall, although business remained constant.
“I don’t think it brought us more business, but it was fun,” Schmidt said. “I think we got a lot more out of that than anything, so I’m really glad we did that because I think people really enjoyed it.”
The website also listed the various activities that would be included in 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond. These activities included, but were not limited to, a downtown scavenger hunt, a candy giveaway, a storefront-decorating contest, a cookie-decorating contest and window displays to honor the Day of the Dead.
Schmidt reflected on her experience with the cookie-decorating contest that her business hosted.
“We had a good participation with the cookie-decorating contest, which I really liked,” Schmidt said. “I think we might do it again for the holiday season.”
Yelena Ivashchenko, Bohème Used Clothing & Gifts owner, chair for DDBA marketing committee and member of the board of directors for the DDBA, explained how the idea for 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond was developed.
“We tried to come up with some sort of alternative where people could still have fun, but in a safer manner,” Ivashchenko said. “We also wanted to support businesses.”
Wedra further described the inspiration behind holding activities over a week-long period.
“The inspiration behind 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond was to save Halloween during the COVID year,” Wedra said. “We wanted to save Halloween by spreading our activities out over seven days.”
Ivashchenko further explained how 7 Days of Halloween & Beyond was partially inspired by a clever play on the 7 Days of Christmas, but adapted for Halloween-themed activities.
Schmidt also reflected on the help of the DDBA in drawing customers to downtown Davis despite the ongoing economic hardships.
“I think that [DDBA has] done a really good job at trying to get the community to come downtown more,” Schmidt said. “I think that it’s definitely helped for sure because if it wasn’t for the community coming out and supporting small businesses like ours, we wouldn’t be able to make it through this tough time.”
Ivashchenko added that patrons can still shop and walk around downtown, but reminded everyone to do so safely.
“We want to encourage people to come out to downtown,” Ivashchenko said. “Spread out, stay healthy and have fun.”
Written By: Jelena Lapuz — firstname.lastname@example.org