Where to trick-or-treat in Butler County in 2021

Butler County typically produces several trick-or-treating events for kids every year, but in this post-COVID/delta variant limbo period where people can attend big live music shows but only when properly credentialed, it’s reasonable to wonder how public trick-or-treating events will be affected.

Fairfield’s Halloween Walk, for instance, used to be a festival. The city transformed it into a Walk last year to keep people socially distanced. In 2021, even with mask mandates lifted and large amounts of the population vaccinated, Fairfield elected to keep the Walk a walk.

“As times goes on, we’ll reevaluate,” said David Sheldrick, marketing specialist for the city of Fairfield, regarding whether the Walk will return to its old format. “We’re doing our best to follow CDC guidelines. We encourage mask-wearing for outdoor events, but we don’t require it.”

That seems to be the consensus for this year’s trick-or-treating events. Middletown, for instance, has increased the total area for its Hocus Pocus Halloween Festival, but officials are only recommending, not requiring, masks and socially distancing. Ditto for the Treat Street event at Bridgewater Falls.

“We encourage people to wear masks, but don’t push it,” said Danielle Reynolds, assistant marketing manager for Bridgewater Falls and two other shopping centers. “We encourage people to social distance, and there’ll be signage for that. At our outdoor events, we’ve found people are very courteous.”

With all that in mind, see below for all the vital statistics regarding Butler County trick-or-treating events.

Hocus Pocus Halloween Festival

This downtown, “Hocus Pocus”-themed family festival includes magic shows, dance troupes, live music, a pet costume contest, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, a cruise-in car show, a trunk-or-treat, and spooky tours of the Sorg and a nighttime screening of the classic horror comedy film, “Beetlejuice.” (Oct. 17, 2-7 p.m., downtown Middletown between Central and First Avenue. Free admission. For more information, visit www.downtownmiddletown.org.)

Halloween Walk

Put on your costume, grab your trick-or-treat bag, and stroll down Fairfield Commons Drive. Several business and organizations will await the youngsters to hand out treats. There will also be live performances at the Village Green Amphitheatre. This event is geared to kids 10 and younger. (Oct. 23, 2-5 p.m. 301 Wessel Drive, Fairfield, free admission. Call 513-867-5348 or visit www.fairfield-city.org for more info.)

The Howl

This pet-themed event includes a trick-or-treat trail designed for kids and dogs, an obstacle course, vendors and a costume contest. Contest categories are Cutest, Scariest, Most Original, Judge’s Choice and Best Duo/Group. Are you a dog lover but between dogs at the moment? Rescue shelters are on hand to loan you a dog just for the event. (Oct. 23, noon-3 p.m. Voice of America MetroPark, 7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester. Admission is $5. For more info, call 513-867-5835 or search for The Howl on www.eventbrite.com.)

Shop Eat and Treat

This dual event is designed for kids and their parents. Kids can trick-or-treat throughout the entire center while their parents shop or enjoy a much-deserved coffee or cocktail. There will also be complimentary balloon animals and more family-friendly activities at the MidPointe Liberty Library. (Oct. 30, 1-3 p.m., Liberty Center, 7100 Foundry Row, Liberty Township. Free admission. For more information, call 513-644-0900 visit www.liberty-center.com.)

Treat Street

Thousands of people will descend onto Bridgewater Falls for an afternoon of trick-or-treating. Most business owners will be sanding outside their doors for safety and to keep traffic moving. Additional fun includes inflatables, candy given out by first responders, music by the Cincy Tunes Band, free doughnuts from Tweedles Donuts and, finally, a fill-a-truck event where people can donate apartment starter supplies (pillows, sheets, towels, feminine hygiene products, cleaning products) to help local women in need. All proceeds will go to the YWCA Hamilton. This event is geared toward kids 12 and younger (Oct. 30, 2-4 p.m., Bridgewater Falls, 3385 Princeton Road, Fairfield. Free admission. For more information, call 513-770-0723 or visit www.shopbridgewaterfalls.com.)

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