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Celebrating Halloween During the Pandemic

Celebrating Halloween During the Pandemic

Like all things in the year 2020, Halloween is going to be a little different. According to the CDC, trick or treating is not recommended this year. 

Many of the traditional Halloween activities have been deemed high-risk by the CDC and they are suggesting alternative ways to celebrate this spooky holiday. 

Activities such as carving a pumpkin, and decorating the house and yard are still great ways to celebrate and when done with family who reside in the same home perfectly safe. So go all out this year and do up your home like never before. Not only will it provide some normalcy, it will make the neighborhood festive.

Trick or treating in the door-to-door fashion is not recommended unless you follow some guidelines. Of course if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 you should refrain from touch or handing out candy and should stay away from everyone until you feel better. Considered a high-risk activity trick or treating can be done safer if treats are placed in a goody bag and handed out in a one way line. Be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds prior to filling goody bags. 

While traditional trick or treating is not recommended there are still many things you can do in your neighborhood to celebrate Halloween:

Low Risk Activities:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate Risk Activities:

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Avoid these High Risk Activities:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
4th of July Events in and around Houston – Covid-19 Edition

4th of July Events in and around Houston – Covid-19 Edition

Like everything else in 2020, the 4th of July events in Houston will be a little different. Some of the events are virtual, while others have many new policies in place to ensure the public safety.

Whatever you choose to do this Independence Day – spending time with family, watching fireworks, spending time on the water, etc – we hope you stay safe and have a wonderful time! 

4th of July Events in and around Houston – Covid-19 Edition 

Shell Freedom over Texas

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: Virtual Event 

Houston’s signature patriotic celebration is back with a 2020 approach. Shell Freedom Over Texas will feature a vigorous line up of live and virtual entertainers via broadcast and live streaming on Saturday, July 4th from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s mission is to uphold the health and safety of all Houstonians. This year, guests will not gather for the annual festival on Buffalo Bayou in Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks, but will honor the City’s cherished tradition under a new format.

"We will celebrate Houston's diversity and America's Freedom at the city's signature Independence Day event in a new way," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "This is an opportunity for us to recognize our community for its perseverance through the ongoing pandemic. I am personally grateful to our NEW title sponsor, Shell Oil Company, and NEW fireworks sponsor, Reliant. Their support means we can also honor organizations that have been on the frontlines during the health crisis. I am also grateful for our returning annual sponsors Walmart, Dr. Pepper, and Bud Light Seltzer, who continue to support this important community event."

The evening will kick off with a patriotic tribute by the Houston Symphony, followed by performances with guest artists Houston rappers, humanitarians and philanthropists, Bun B and Trae Tha Truth, nationally acclaimed mariachi band Mariachi Imperial De America, and Houston sibling Norteño trio Los Luzeros De Rioverde. Additional performers to be announced. The 3 hour event will be available via ABC13 Houston.

Independence Day Concert Series – City Centre Houston

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: 800 Town & Country Blvd

Houston, TX

Independence Day welcomes a concert series of live music that you don’t want to miss!*

Live Music schedule for Saturday, July 4:

12:30 - 2:30 PM: Applehead (Blues & Rock)

3 - 5 PM: KDK Band (Pop & Variety)

6 - 9 PM. People’s Choice Band (Country & Pop)

As a courtesy, no outside food or beverages are allowed. Our restaurants offer delicious menu items that can also conveniently be taken to-go.

*Weather permitting; Any changes to the day’s schedule of events will be communicated on CITYCENTRE’S Facebook and Instagram pages. Due to COVID19, we have decided to cancel our annual fireworks show.

City of Bellaire 4th of July Parade

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: Bellaire, TX

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

This year, we are bringing the parade to you!

Interested in being in the parade? Fill out form here! Contact Victoria Arevalo, 713-662-8291 for more information.

For more information, contact the Bellaire Recreation Center at 713-662-8280.

Click here to view a map of the parade route.

4th of July in The Woodlands

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: The Woodlands, TX

Due to COVID-19, please note the festival portion of the 2020 Red, Hot & Blue Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza has been cancelled. 

The 18-minute Red, Hot & Blue Fireworks Extravaganza, presented by St. Luke’s Hospital – The Woodlands, will be launched from the campus of Lone Star College – Montgomery at approximately 9:30 p.m. Experience both the sights and sounds of the Fireworks Extravaganza by tuning in to KSTAR Country 99.7 FM to broadcast the soundtrack live on www.kstarcountry.com or by downloading the app. The app can be found by searching “KSTAR Country Radio” in the App Store or on Google Play. 

Live video feed of the Fireworks Extravaganza will be available on Woodlands Online.

Fireworks will be visible from areas in the immediate vicinity of the college campus, as well as the west side of SH 242 near I-45, including The Woodlands College Park High School and various locations in the College Park Shopping Center. To ensure spectators have the best fireworks visibility possible, fireworks teaser shots will be fired at 9, 9:10 and 9:20 p.m.

Those planning to view the fireworks onsite should practice social distancing and continue following all guidelines recommended by the CDC while viewing the fireworks.

Galveston Island 4th of July Parade

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: Downtown Galveston

Galveston Island will host its annual 4th of July Parade on Saturday, July 4, beginning at 10am.  The parade will begin at 25th Street and Santa Fe Place, continue south on 25th Street, then east on Postoffice Street, then north on 21st,  and continue west on The Strand back to 25th Street.

What Building 1,000 Homes Means to the U.S. Economy

What Building 1,000 Homes Means to the U.S. Economy

While this article from the National Association of Home Builders is referring to single family homes in its example, building townhouses or townhomes should be no different in impact. Home building of any kind is going to be a major contributor when it comes to restarting the economy, and it will help us all experience normal again. Continue reading the full article below.

What Building 1,000 Homes Means to the U.S. Economy

(NAHB), A new study from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that housing stands poised to lead the economic rebound once social distancing and other virus mitigation efforts show success in containing the coronavirus pandemic.

Building 1,000 average single-family homes creates 2,900 full-time jobs and generates $110.96 million in taxes and fees for all levels of government to support police, firefighters and schools, according to NAHB’s National Impact of Home Building and Remodeling report. Similarly, building 1,000 average rental apartments generates 1,250 jobs and $55.91 million in taxes and revenue for local, state and federal government. Moreover, $10 million in remodeling expenditures creates 75 jobs and nearly $3 million in taxes.

“Before the coronavirus pummeled the U.S. economy, housing was on the rise with January and February new home sales numbers posting their highest reading since the Great Recession,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon, a home builder and developer from Shrewsbury, N.J. “The demand is clearly there, and as this study shows, we expect that housing will play its traditional role of helping to lead the economy out of recession later in 2020 when the pandemic subsides.”

The NAHB model shows that job creation through housing is broad-based. Building new homes and apartments generates jobs in industries that produce lumber, concrete, lighting fixtures, heating equipment and other products that go into a home remodeling project. Other jobs are generated in the process of transporting, storing and selling these products.

Additional jobs are generated for professionals such as architects, engineers, real estate agents, lawyers and accountants who provide services to home builders, home buyers and remodelers.

In another sign of the important role that housing plays in the economy, the Department of Homeland Security announced on March 28 that it had designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business,” meaning that construction could continue in places under stay-at-home orders. Although this designation is not binding to state and local governments, it does mean that there could be more workers on job sites in the coming weeks.

“Ensuring the health and safety of home builders and contractors is our top priority,” said Mon. “This is why NAHB and construction industry partners have developed a Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan specifically tailored to construction job sites. The plan is customizable and covers areas that include manager and worker responsibilities, job site protective measures, cleaning and disinfecting, responding to exposure incidents, and OSHA record-keeping requirements.”

The full National Impact of Home Building and Remodeling study can be found on nahb.org.