TRUNKORTREAT

Jackson Samuels, 6, holds up his bucket Friday and yells “Happy Halloween!” from inside his car, during a socially distanced "Trunk or Treat" drive-thru event at Carr Hardware in Pittsfield.

Berkshire County woke up with chills Saturday morning — and it wasn't because of a Halloween scare.

Temperatures sat at about 25 degrees through the morning, with the prospect dim for a significant warmup — the high was only supposed to reach 43 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Yet, the nippy weather and the coronavirus pandemic aside, the county focused on making the most of Halloween. 

"The day started with a Halloween-inspired lunch, featuring hot dogs in croissant rolls that look like mummies," said Crystal Chapman, who planned a full Halloween-themed day for her two kids. "Dinner is going to be a family recipe of macaroni casserole, followed by candy baskets and a scavenger hunt." 

Chapman, who lives in Cheshire, spoke with other families in her neighborhood, and most of them weren't interested in trick-or-treating, so she took matters into her own hands, with some help from Pinterest. 

"The key is to stay positive and not see this as something we're missing out on," Chapman said. "We'll watch a few Halloween movies; the kids are super-excited." 

Lenox and Pittsfield have discouraged trick-or-treating, and Adams is having town employees go door to door delivering candy.  The Berkshire Eagle created a guide for those looking to find trick-or-treating information in each city and town. 

As of Friday morning, about 48 percent of people responding to a poll on The Eagle's Facebook page said they still would go trick-or-treating, to some extent. 

Since COVID-19 cases are on the rise throughout the state and traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, residents are finding creative ways to provide local youths with some sweets. 

People mentioned traveling in smaller groups, leaving candy bags on steps, using chutes to deliver candy and, of course, wearing face masks. 

Fifty-two percent of the people polled at The Eagle's Facebook page are not partaking in trick-or-treat activities, but that doesn't mean kids won't get candy and aren't celebrating the day.

Cheryl Forbes Kenney, a retired teacher who taught for 36 years, including 21 at Herberg Middle School, is preparing bags of candy for the 12 kids in her Pittsfield neighborhood.

"We feel bad for all that these kids have missed," Kenney said. "We wanted to find a fun alternative, but I didn't want to ignore recommendations [from the city and the CDC]." 

She spoke with parents and decided to load up on Tootsie Pops, chocolate bars and mini-PEZ dispensers. After dressing her dog in costume, they walked around the neighborhood, dropping off bags while sporting gloves and a mask. 

"This is our way of doing something," Kenney said. "These fun alternatives are still giving us a way to connect and aren't hard to do, but I am glad we can provide a little bright spot for these kids. Parents are doing a good job of being creative and keeping kids safe." 

Trick-or-treating, or not, people throughout Berkshire County found innovative ways to safely celebrate.

"Halloween falls on a perfect day, being a Saturday," Chapman said. "We'll end the day with a fire under the full moon." 

Jake Mendel can be reached at jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.

Sports Reporter

As a lifelong Pittsfield resident, Jake gravitates to the nearest field or park. He joined The Eagle as a paperboy in 2005 and worked his way up, becoming a full-time reporter in 2018. He's currently a sports reporter.