As everyone prepares to celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, the Newport Beach Police Department is encouraging the community to make this year’s festivities as safe as possible by planning lower-risk online, at-home and car-based activities.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, the state’s Department of Public Health released safety guidelines strongly discouraging traditional trick-or-treating and asks families to plan safer alternatives. These alternative celebrations include a candy scavenger hunt at home, online pumpkin carving and costume contests, and car-based tours of Halloween displays.
The health guidance also covers Día de los Muertos, a Mexican tradition celebrated in the Latinx community honoring the deceased. Día de los Muertos celebrations often include gatherings of extended family. Families are encouraged to place traditional indoor alters outside so others can view them from a safe distance and create virtual altars online.
Families and individuals are also encouraged to check with local or county guidance on holiday celebrations.
Halloween is on a Saturday this year, and The Newport Beach Police Department will have additional officers on patrol Halloween night looking for suspected impaired drivers.
It is important to keep traffic safety in mind and designate a non-drinking driver before going somewhere to drink. The Newport Beach Police Department offers these tips for drivers and those who are out walking:
- The days are getting shorter. Be visible and carry a flashlight or reflective vest if you are out at dusk or at night so drivers can see you.
- Stick to familiar, well-lit routes.
- Only cross the street at crosswalks or corners where it is safe. Always look left, right, then left again before crossing.
- If you are doing car-based tours of decorations, be extra alert for other vehicles backing out of driveways or leaving parking spaces.
- Watch for pedestrians and yield to them at all crosswalks.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.