Year after year, Halloween has followed the same traditions: trick or treating, haunted houses, and costume parties with friends. But as with every other part of normal life, coronavirus has found a way to prevent these common activities. Surprisingly, as Halloween draws closer, these activities are being replaced by more creative alternatives. This year, Orange County has a number of new attractions for all ages to keep everyone feeling that Halloween spirit during this lockdown.
An entertaining new attraction this fall is the drive through Halloween event. This unique and immersive experience is probably one of the safer ways to celebrate Halloween this year as all passengers remain within a vehicle and are required to wear masks. As the vehicle is driven steadily, passengers are given a view of creepy scenes along the road and are terrorized by actors along the way! Although many are starting across the state, the first to be announced in Southern California was OC Fair’s Urban Legends. “I thought it was a refreshing take on a ‘haunted house,’” said senior Stephanie Calderon, who attended the event this past weekend. “It exceeded my expectations by actually managing to scare me.” The tradition of haunted houses is clearly the inspiration for this event, yet Urban Legends manages to expand on the general concept with a creative use of lighting, widescreens, and booming sound effects. “It was a really fun experience that I encourage everyone to try!” Calderon added.
Another notable event is in none other than Knott’s Berry Farm. Knott’s Berry Farm is well-known for its “Knott’s Scary Farm” that takes place every year around Halloween, though unfortunately this year it was canceled. In its place is the new food-inspired festival named “Taste of Fall-O-Ween.” Customers purchase special tasting cards that allow them to not only try delicious fall-themed food but also see the park’s amazing Halloween decorations! In contrast to the horror of Knott’s Scary Farm, Taste of Fall-O-Ween is more of a family-friendly event complete with Peanuts characters and performances from local entertainers. While this all sounds well and good, some may ask how such an event is safe in light of the pandemic.
One student at Cypress High, Carlos Oropeza, details his experience working at Knott’s in preparation for the new event. “[I’ve been helping to set up] since August. We have been taking a lot of precautions like masks, gloves, and not touching customers,” he explained. Along with safety regulations, Knott’s has incorporated many favorite Halloween traditions. “I see people in their costumes, and we also have a trick or treating spot for kids. Since they probably won’t be able to go trick or treating like normal, we provide a safer way to do that,” said Oropeza.
Whether it’s in a car or a local theme park, the Halloween spirit is still going strong in Orange County!