Halloween festivities called off at Indiana governor's home

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Trick-or-treating with Indiana's governor has been canceled this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Following advice from Indiana’s health commissioner, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced this past week that he and his wife, Janet, won't host Halloween festivities at the Governor’s Residence in Indianapolis.

“In the interest of safety, unfortunately — I have mixed feelings about this — we’re not going to host Halloween this year at the (Governor’s) Residence ... no trick-or-treating,” Holcomb said. “Obviously, we’re disappointed ... this is one of the fun things we get to do with the community.”

The Republican governor and Statehouse staffers annually dress in Indiana-related costumes for Halloween and pass out candy, pose for pictures and lead children’s activities at the governor’s official home on the north side of Indianapolis.

Holcomb said his “Stranger Things” costume — in recognition of the Netflix horror series set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana — will have to wait until next year.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box has suggested finding alternatives for traditional Halloween activities like trick-or-treating, indoor costume parties, haunted houses, or hay rides with strangers due to their “high-risk” for potential exposure to COVID-19.

It's still up to local health authorities, however, to decide what holiday activities will be allowed.