Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

South Dakotans Come up with Creative Ways to Celebrate Halloween Safely


South Dakotans are coming up with creative ways to celebrate Halloween safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. SDPB’s Lura Roti has this story.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of ringing dozens of doorbells while trick-or-treating or crowding into a haunted house this Halloween sends a shiver up the spines of many South Dakotans.

“Especially here in the Brookings community, it’s looking a little scary at this point. So, for those in Brookings that you know wanna come out and trick-or-treat a little bit in a different way this year, we’re welcoming all area communities,” says Kirsten Barott.

Kirsten Barott is inviting folks to Volga for the Candy Krawl on Kasan Avenue. Instead of going door-to-door, costumed youngsters and their parents can collect candy from stations set up by Volga business owners outside their shops explains the Outreach Director for the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“Keeping these traditions alive, they just look a little bit different. I think it goes to show how adaptive and flexible you know, our generations and generations to come can be. We don’t really have a choice anymore, you know. If we don’t pivot and we don’t adapt, we don’t get to do the things that we love and want to do,” Barott says.

Taking trick-or-treating outdoors is also how Tiffany Brenden organized a pre-Halloween event this September at Camp Kiowa. Camp Kiowa is a seasonal campground community near Oacoma where her family parked their camper this summer.

“You know, I’m not sure how Halloween will go this year for the kids,” Brenden says. “So, let’s just have something fun. I wanted my kids to still be kids. Still go out and do fun things and get excited about seeing other people dressed up. And during this, its everything’s been so serious and there’s not a lot of carefree. And the only way last year they could talk to friends was through a camera or video chat. So, this is just a very fun and kind of just letting them be kids again.”

Tiffany says her daughters, Addison and Amelia weren’t the only ones to get into the spirit of Halloween. The entire camper community really got involved, placing candy-filled tables outside their campers, many with hand sanitizer at the ready for costumed visitors.

“It was actually very cute. I went got out for a morning walk. It was about 8:30, I was walking around with my coffee and there was already little grandchildren and they already had their princess outfits on and it was 8:30 a.m. and it didn’t start until 7 o’clock,” Brenden says.

Platte community members didn’t want to give up their Halloween traditions either. So, they came up with a way to bring citizens together for a shared spooky experience that also kept them physically distanced explains volunteer scarer, Shauna Meyerink.

“And it’s out by our lake, we have a trail down to a forested area through the trees and it used to be old Lovers Lane. So, we’re switching it just a little bit over to the haunted forest,” Meyerink says.

After dark brave souls will wander through the forest on a dimly lit trail while Shauna and other volunteers jump out and scare them.

“Oh boy, what to expect, expect a fun time but be ready to be scared,” Meyerink says.

Shauna says community events like this, that are outdoors and allow citizens to keep a safe distance, yet still interact are important.

“We still need our social interaction. We still need to have the support of one another. With what is going on across the country and COVID, community is so important because that’s who is there to back you when there is a time of need or a time of joy,” Meyerink says.

Too scary for kids, the Platte Haunted Forest is open October 30th and 31st

To learn more about the Candy Krawl on Kasan or the Platte Haunted Forest, visit

Candy Krawl:

Platte Haunted Forest: