WASHINGTON — The YMCA of Washington County didn’t let a pandemic stop it from bringing Halloween fun to local families and kids.
The nonprofit athletic center held its first Boo Bash on Saturday, an afternoon of activities and games the Y would usually bring to Main Street’s Trick-or-Treat Around the Square, which will not be taking place this year.
Amy Schulte, CEO of the center, said the event is a way to showcase the new facility while hosting a family event.
“We’re using the gym and rooms for crafts. We can spread people out and families can still have fun,” she said.
In addition to bowling, a pumpkin ring toss and tick-tack-toe, the Y set up coloring and mask-making tables as well as a popcorn treat station.
Schulte said the Y is looking to do more family activities like movie nights and events where parents can drop off kids for several hours to be supervised by the Y staff.
Families who attended the Boo Bash said the event was one of a few Halloween activities still being put on within the community. Many brought their children in costume to enjoy the afternoon of fun. Princesses, power rangers and Disney characters made their way through the Y for the Bash.
Seven-year-old Emma Bixley, who was dressed as a vampire, said she really liked the games available in the Y’s gym.
“I got to bowl and get some candy,” she said, her sharp teeth on display.
Bixley added she planned to dress as a werewolf on Halloween night.
Anna Chalupa said the Boo Bash was one of the only Halloween events she had heard of this year.
“It’s actually one of the first things we’ve been able to do since everything’s been going on,” she said.
Chalupa’s daughter, 4-year-old Kynsley, who was dressed up as Princess Anna from Disney’s “Frozen” said she was still excited to be getting some sweet treats this year.
“Anna is my favorite princess … I’m like to trick-or-treat [to get] pink candy,” Kynsley said.
Janelle Johnson similarly said the Bash was one of a few Halloween events she had been able to take her daughter, Jenna, to this year.
“There’s not a lot of events going on this year it seems like, so it’s nice that they offered this,” Johnson said.
Like Leyva, Johnson said the pandemic is a consideration her family is making when it comes to trick-or-treating.
“We’ll probably go to some family members and neighbors but that will probably be it … [The pandemic] is something you definitely think about with your kids, but you still want them to have the experiences,” she added.
Sonya Leyva, a local school board member, brought her two sons and niece to the Bash. Leyva said her family would not be trick-or-treating this year as a health and safety precaution.
“I’m trying to find Halloween things for them to do. This time is usually really fun for kids, and I want them to have that while staying safe,” she said from behind a mask. After the Y’s event, Leyva said she would probably be taking the kids to a pumpkin patch to continue their weekend of Halloween fun.
“They’re still excited to see their friends and wear costumes and just enjoy,” she added.