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Many New Yorkers Canceling, Scaling Back Halloween Festivities Due To COVID Concerns

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Halloween is almost here, but for the second year in a row, many events are canceled because of the pandemic, and now, parents are trying to find things to do.

You won’t be seeing the crowd of trick-or-treaters dressed in Halloween costumes on West 69th Street this year, and so far, only a handful of townhouses near Columbus Avenue are decked out in the holiday spirit.

READ MORE: Where To Find The Upper East Side’s Best Decorated Houses This Halloween

“I’d say there’re usually about up to 5,000 people show up for our event. We’re kind of known as the Halloween block,” said Penny Shaw, the treasurer of the West 69th Street Block Association.

Shaw told CBS2’s Thalia Perez canceling the annual candy handout that started in the early 1970s wasn’t an easy decision.

Over on East 72nd Street near Madison Avenue, one townhouse toned down its annual festivities.

“The line is normally around the block,” doorman Phillip Crews said.

Crews says for the last 10 years, people would come from all over to stop and take photographs.

READ MORE: Costumed Canines Compete In 31st Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

“When they were letting people in the house, it was so much better. They could walk through,” he said.

But parents say they are adjusting and making creative plans this year, like taking a walking tour and checking out decorations scattered around the city.

“Our plan is to hang out, go trick-or-treating, take the kids out and just try to be as safe as possible,” dad Gideon Laniado said.

“Just trying to stay outside. Be safe. Respect what other people wanna do, their friends. Their friends’ parents may be more conservative than we are,” dad Tom Akyali said.

For some, that means heading downtown to the Halloween Parade or just heading somewhere outdoors to show off their costume. Other events across the city include “Boo at the Zoo” at the Bronx Zoo, “Boo Bash” at Randall’s Island, Halloween Harvest at Luna Park and Pumpkin Point on Governor’s Island.

Whatever your plan this year, there’s no one way to celebrate the holiday.

MORE NEWS: Halloween Spending Expected To Hit All-Time High As Excitement, Fun Return

CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

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