With fun in very short supply at the moment, a Sprowston mum has set out to make Halloween something special for the children in her neighbourhood with a celebration with a difference.
Parties and trick-or-treating look very unlikely to happen this year, so Katherine Rice is asking everyone to go all out to make October 31 just as much fun – but in a different way.
“I want it to be spooky not scary,” said Katherine, who is mum to Isaac, aged three, and six-month-old Amelie.
She was prompted to get the ball rolling to do something for her son – who is better known as Ziggy – who has just been diagnosed with global developmental delay. He had been looking forward to Halloween and she did not want him disappointed.
“Kids have lost so much this year,” she said. “He lost his social life, his freedom, his family and we brought a new baby home on the first day of lockdown…”
And she soon realised that with a bit of organisation the event could be enjoyed by everyone.
“I have an elderly neighbour who tells me how difficult it is to be stuck inside. With the dark evenings coming it’s very depressing not seeing people and I started to think how we could bring life back in safe and inexpensive way. How we could bring the magic back.”
Spooktacular Sprowston, as it is called, will culminate with socially distanced costumed Halloween walks around the town after sunset on October 31. People are being invited to decorate their windows and gardens in a similar way to the rainbow walks which were popular during lockdown.
Local businesses are also invited to take part and schools are being asked to use the theme as part of their arts and crafts lessons. Volunteers are already gathering to help out with the organising.
In the lead up there will be vlogs and posts on Facebook and other social media with tips and information including ideas for crafts and decorations, colouring pages, and mask and costume ideas. There are also plans for printable bingo cards and she hopes residents in some of the local care homes might also enjoy taking part, decorating their windows and waving to the children.
There will also be some seasonal recipes – especially for the pumpkin flesh which is left over after carving.
“I’m encouraging people to do this in a way that’s environmentally friendly as well as being kind to the community,” said Katherine. “Everybody has taken a hit and we all need a little bit of childhood magic.”
The Facebook page can be found @SpooktacularSprowston or by searching for Spooktacular Sprowston – A socially distanced Halloween.