Halloween on Hanover isn’t canceled — but it won’t be what you’re used to

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s popular “Halloween on Hanover” hasn’t been canceled– but it will look different this year. Most years, the event shuts down the 1900 block of Hanover Avenue, bringing hundreds of people to the Fan district for decked-out trick-or-treating.

It’s usually one of the most elaborate Halloween experiences in Virginia.

Ahead of the holiday this year, no one applied for a permit to shut down the street, according to Richmond Police. The Fan District Association canceled the event in 2020 and has not said much about it this year.

Quite a few Hanover Avenue residents are wondering what to expect come October 31.

“The FDA is recommending following CDC guidelines regarding Halloween. Participation is up to the individual homeowners,” a Fan District Association (FDA) representative said Thursday.

It’s not clear who typically requests the permit, but Tim Beane with the Fan District Association later told 8News that Halloween on Hanover is not an Fan District Association organized event.

“Totally a neighbor-by-neighbor initiative,” he said.

Participation has always been optional for residents of Hanover avenue.

In late September, CDC director Rochelle Wolensky said children should be able to trick-or-treat outside, but added that parents and kids should “limit crowds.” Vaccines have not been authorized for children under 12 years old.

Now about two weeks until this Halloween, residents who normally participate are split on what to do. 

“It’s great fun but you know, we’re still in a pandemic,” said Alice Tousignant, who lives right where the action normally takes place. She’s participated for 13 years and said two years ago, she gave out 3,000 pieces of candy.

“That’s how many kids come,” she told 8News.

Tousignant said she knows of other neighbors who are deciding not to take part this year but said she hasn’t spoken with her neighbors with children to see how they feel about it.

“It doesn’t feel safe for thousands of unvaccinated kids to be thrown together in such a packed way,” she said.

Many houses on Hanover avenue are not decorated — at least not yet.

“I know some of us are just not gonna encourage people to come by, unfortunately,” Tousignant said. “Next year, when all the kids are vaccinated, great.”

Katrina Dozier lives just down the street and said she will be participating even though part of Hanover will not be blocked off this year.

“Some kids felt cheated out last year and I feel if they’re outside and if there are concerned parents, have them wear their masks,” she said. “Let them have some fun.”

Dozier has already spent $400 on candy for Halloween.

“We’re still having Halloween. I’ve already been to Costco and bought thousands of pieces of chocolate.” She said she’s spoken with other Hanover avenue neighbors who are indeed handing out candy and celebrating with children on Oct. 31.

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