‘It makes me sad because it’s not normal’: Children, parents react to Mountain City not endorsing Halloween

Local Coronavirus Coverage

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- One Northeast Tennessee town is saying “No” to Trick-or-Treating. The message from town leaders in Mountain City coming in the form of a letter saying the city will not endorse traditional Halloween events this year “to protect the health and safety of our citizens.”

“Johnson County doesn’t have a lot anyway, and what few things the kids do get to do, they’re trying to take that away too and I don’t think that’s fair,” said mom, Amanda Albery. “Its ridiculous. If you can have public school open, they can play contact sports, you can go to the grocery store, go out to eat…why can’t the kids have trick-or-treating?”

The notice says the town would not endorse traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and asks that all events end by 8 p.m.

“They’re not getting to enjoy a normal childhood. I know we all enjoyed Halloween and it makes me upset for them but I know the safety is a big concern as well,” said mom, Audrey Vaught.

Some say they were surprised by the announcement considering that the county is one of two in the region without a mask mandate.

“It makes us feel like we’re sort of confused if they want us to wear them or not,” said Dean Tester, “We’re really not for sure.”

Although the letter says local churches and organizations will be hosting Halloween events, some were just hoping for a glimpse of life before the pandemic.

“It makes me sad because it’s not normal,” said twelve-year-old Briley Vaught.

A drive-thru trick-or-treat event will take place at the Johnson County-Mountain City Community center at 3 p.m. on Halloween.

“I don’t think it’s right. I think they ought to let the kids out. We’re actually going to have bags of candy to give out on Halloween,” said Kevin Osborne who is a firefighter in the county. He says the fire department will be a part of the holiday event.

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