BOZEMAN — Traditions like trick-or-treating are being put on hold again due to the COVID pandemic. Businesses like the Rocky Mountain Toy Company in downtown Bozeman are putting their own twist on this Halloween.
For Sam Rickenbaugh, owner of The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company, this would've been his first downtown trick-or-treat. But due to COVID-19 and staffing shortages, the Downtown Bozeman Partnership decided to cancel the beloved tradition.
He is still able to get creative to make sure that kids are able to experience the spooky season.
“We are actually holding an event, we are doing face painting on that Sunday,” said Rickenbaugh.
Heyday’s owner Mallory Dabney says not being able to see the community gathering has been the hardest part of this year's cancellation.
“Downtown trick-or-treating is such a community event and we've missed it last year and we will miss it again this year,” said Dabney.
It's an event that has drawn thousands to the blocks around Main Street in years past.
“In the past, it's been pretty crazy but during that time we don't do a lot of transactions, just because the kids are here and are going through and getting candy,” said Rickenbaugh.
Staffing shortages, cancellations, and even supply chain issues are all things that Rickenbaugh has prepared for.
“We’re struggling to find staff, but right now we have just the right amount of staff,” Rickenbaugh said.
Even though the event is off the table in 2021, Dabney understands the decision that was made.
“It brings all the kids of Bozeman together downtown and that's amazing, but I think they are making the decisions that they have to make in order to keep everyone safe,” Dabney said.
Rickenbaugh says that people are still walking through his doors.
“We've still seen a boost in sales through Halloween with everyone getting costumes and getting ready for the day,” says Rickenbaugh.
For now, official celebrations from downtown Bozeman are canceled but local businesses may still have some events. The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company will host face painting on Sunday, Oct. 31 from 12 p.m to 4 p.m.