Candy chutes and drive-thru treats: Chicagoans get creative for COVID-19 Halloween

Trick-or-treaters didn’t let the pandemic ruin their Halloween spirit Saturday.

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Charles Williams throws candy into a tube for Kyla Cuzelis, 2, to catch during the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s “Halloween on Catalpa” trick-or-treating event. With COVID-19 cases rising in Chicago, people had to wear masks and innovate socially-distant activities for Halloween.

Charles Williams throws candy into a tube for Kyla Cuzelis, 2, to catch during the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s “Halloween on Catalpa” trick-or-treating event. With COVID-19 cases rising in Chicago, people had to wear masks and innovate socially-distant activities for Halloween.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Halloween looked a little different this year thanks to the pandemic, but the virus didn’t do much to wipe out the spooky spirit.

Drive-thru treats, homemade candy chutes and masks instead of face paint — those are just some of the ways Chicagoans got creative Saturday as they tried to make the most of the candy-grabbing and costume-wearing celebration despite a variety of restrictions with COVID-19 cases surging statewide.

After Mayor Lori Lightfoot decided not to cancel Halloween, some neighborhoods and schools hosted weekend events as a way to let families safely celebrate the holiday.

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Adrianna Jose, 3, gets candy from one of the booths at the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s “Halloween on Catalpa” trick-or-treating event near West Catalpa Avenue and North Clark Street on Saturday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

At “Halloween on Catalpa” hosted by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, hundreds of ghosts, goblins and other characters stopped at spaced-out tents for candy and other goodies over the course of the six-hour event, including the Walzer family.

Halloween is second to only Christmas as the Walzer family’s favorite holiday. They originally planned to go to a friend’s house in the suburbs to trick-or-treat, but with cases on the rise, they opted to stay close to home.

“It doesn’t seem like a great idea right now,” said Jennifer Walzer, who lives in Rogers Park. “[We’re] probably not going to do traditional trick-or-treating... We might do a scavenger candy hunt instead.”

A kid receives candy during a drive-in trick-or-treating event organized by the Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce in Ravenswood on Saturday.

A kid receives candy during a drive-in trick-or-treating event organized by the Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce in Ravenswood on Saturday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Walzer’s 6-year-old daughter, Amelia, who was dressed as a witch with a floral face mask, said this will be a Halloween to remember.

“Different than all the other Halloweens,” said Amelia.

JJ Stankevitz shared a sneak peak on Twitter as to what trick-or-treaters can expect when they stop by his Old Irving Park home.

Stankevitz created a makeshift candy chute using PVC pipes, duct tape and a leaf blower after seeing various examples on social media.

“[I] wanted to figure out one that wouldn’t take much effort to set up but would still be effective in getting trick-or-treaters their candy,” he said.

Stankevitz and his wife wanted to take their 11-month-old twins on a walk around the neighborhood during Saturday afternoon’s festivities. However, they decided against it because of the coronavirus.

“Hopefully by the time our boys are old enough to go trick-or-treating, we’ll be done with the pandemic and won’t have to have candy chutes,” he said.

Andi Gilreath, 30, gives candy to Mateo Tovar, 7, during a drive-in trick-or-treating event in Ravenswood.

Andi Gilreath, 30, gives candy to Mateo Tovar, 7, during a drive-in trick-or-treating event in Ravenswood.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

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