Keyser City Council sets time for trick-or-treat
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Keyser City Council voted Wednesday to proceed with trick-or-treating for Halloween, but will make a decision on holding a Christmas parade at a later date.
The council members had agreed at the Sept. 23 meeting to await direction on trick-or-treating from Gov. Jim Justice, but when the Governor’s Office told Mineral County Health Department administrator A.Jay Root that the decision was in the hands of the municipalities, Keyser had it back on their agenda this week.
“I don’t think we can say we can’t have it,” councilman Mike Ryan said. “Let’s just set a time like we normally do.”
“I think the kids should be able to have trick-or-treat as long as their parents want them to,” Jennifer Junkins agreed.
Junkins did note, however, that the council had received a recommendation from the health department that “anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 or has any symptoms to not participate.”
And if parents don’t feel it’s safe for their children to trick-or-treat, the decision is left up to them.
“If you want to participate, participate, and if you don’t, don’t,” mayor Damon Tillman agreed. “Just be responsible, use discretion, and please be safe.”
Council member Jim Hannas therefore made the motion to allow trick-or-treating from 5-7 on Saturday, Oct. 31, and Ryan seconded it.
Those planning to hand out treats are asked to put their porch lights on and to have individually wrapped treats.
As for the Christmas parade, the officials were unsure of whether they could proceed.
Hannas said he had planned to make a motion to have Jennifer Junkins chair the parade this year, as she had previously done when she served as parks and recreation commissioner.
“But I talked to A.Jay Root and he says right now the Governor is saying no parades,” he said.
“I know the Burlington Fire Department had put a parade together and were ready and raring to go and they got shut down,” Junkins said.
When someone in the audience questioned why a parade couldn’t be held if people wore masks or practiced social distancing, Junkins replied, “You’ll never see a. Christmas parade where people are six feet apart.”
The Christmas parade traditionally draws the largest crowd of any holiday event into Keyser’s downtown.
Resident Cathy Bridges, seated in the audience, suggested the officials wait to see if regulations might change before time to hold the parade.
“I don’t think you should say no right now,” she said.
“Maybe things will change,” Tillman agreed. “I hope they do.”
Hannas therefore made a motion to postpone a decision on the parade, and Junkins seconded it.