Halloween in full view in Saint-Lazare
THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO
Several towns in the region are inviting residents to decorate their homes in seasonal spooky style (like the one above in Saint-Lazare in 2018) with the chance to win prizes for the best effort.
The town of Saint-Lazare is one of the area cities stepping things up for Halloween this year, offering cash prizes for the best decorated properties in a new contest judged by residents. A top prize of $300 is on the line, along with $200 and $100 prizes for second and third place winners.
“We wanted to do something special this year for the community,” said Rachel Gauthier-Langlois, Event Co-ordinator for the Town of Saint-Lazare. The decision to encourage Halloween decorating with a contest was made before they knew whether or not the provincial government was even going to allow trick-or-treating during the pandemic. “Whatever the decision on distributing candy, we knew people love the spirit of Halloween and we wanted to do our part to encourage that spirit.”
Treats a bonus
Said Gauthier-Langlois, “Morale has been down lately with all the stress and the restrictions of COVID-19, especially for kids. Even if we weren’t allowed a normal Halloween, we thought we could encourage a lot of decorating to raise spirits.” If nothing else, at least the atmosphere would be festive and families could go for walks and enjoy the spooky décor – the fact that trick or treating has now been approved is just a bonus.
“That candy distribution can happen is even better,” she says, “but we still ask that people respect all the sanitary precautions.” That means trick-or-treating only with people who live under the same roof, limiting your wanderings to your immediate neighbourhood and respecting two-metre distancing at all times.
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Even if the candy collection may be somewhat curtailed this year, there are sure to be a number of visual displays to make Halloween 2020 a memorable one – for good reasons.
Deadline October 26
For those who wish to enter the contest, a registration form is available on the town’s website. It must be submitted by a Saint-Lazare resident 18 years of age or older no later than 4 p.m. on October 26. Take note that no haunted houses or directly interactive walk-through designs will be eligible (in keeping with the policy of limiting social contact). Over the following two days, a photographer hired by the town will visit and photograph each property that’s entered and the public will be invited to choose a winner by voting on the town’s Facebook page. Those who’d like to show their Halloween spirit but don’t want to attract any little ghouls or goblins are invited to download a ‘House without candies’ sign to post in their window or driveway.
Once the winners have been chosen, they’ll receive their cash prizes. “Of course,” said Gauthier-Langlois, “we are going to encourage the winners to treat themselves to something they buy in the local community with their winnings.”
Neighbouring communities like Hudson, Île Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-L’ Île-Perrot and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue will be getting into the spirit with contests of their own, including prizes for such things as house decorating, costumes, and even costumed pets.
Said Gauthier-Langlois, “We are so happy to help support the community and to help raise spirits, so everyone can enjoy a safe, but super fun Halloween this year.” Full details on contest rules and sanitary precautions can be found on all of the towns’ websites.