Like most things impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween looked a little different this year. Families struggled to find safe and fun alternatives while still sharing in all the fun the holiday usually offers. They found it last Friday evening with Harford Community College’s Free Drive-Thru Trick or Treat event on October 30. The College hosted the socially distant, child-friendly festivities where participants received a map and scavenger hunt list at the start of their route.

The little ghouls and goblins remained in their cars while trekking through a well-planned course across campus that took them to eight different themed stops where Harford employees passed out candy to each child through an open car window. The stops included scenes from Harry Potter, Star Wars, and a Bob the Builder construction site that included a real-life CAT Skid Steer Loader named "Scoop" as part of the scene. Families were also spooked as they drove up to a "nightmare" scene decorated by Harford Athletics. Scared faces quickly turned to smiles as they were greeted by Harford's mascot "Screech," a giant, fuzzy blue Fighting Owl. Harford's Public Safety Department was also on hand to keep things moving safely through the campus.

Employees from various areas of the College were all smiles under their masks as they handed out treats to 300+ cars that evening. Participants came dressed in their best costumes and “Trick or Treat” could be heard across campus along with Halloween music being played from a tent hosted by the College’s radio station WHFC 91.1 FM. A food drive to support HCC's Food Pantry was held during the event; attendees were asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate and participants happily gave bags of food to support the important cause.

Residents from all across the county visited the event. Mary Schaller, mom of Ben, age 6 of Aberdeen, messaged the College, "Wanted to thank your team; tonight's event was so fun. A nice yet safe break in routine for the whole family. Thanks again."

Youth Programs Coordinator Kelly Pulaski wasn’t sure how quickly she and her group could pull off the event. There were many precautions to keep in mind and many details to coordinate. But their efforts created a one of a kind, clever, COVID-friendly way to celebrate. "It was amazing to see so many families come out and celebrate Halloween safely this year with us. Harford is proud to be a part of such a wonderful community. We thank everyone who made this special event possible!"