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Local officials have decided to reschedule Halloween festivities this year to avoid forecasted storms.

MANSFIELD — Mansfield, and a number of Richland County communities, have decided to change the date and time of Trick or Treat due to inclement weather predicted for Thursday night.

City-wide Trick or Treat in Mansfield is now scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 31, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

"This will hopefully provide a more enjoyable experience for those participating," Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker said.

It is suggested that the participating age group be no older than 12.

Residents in Mansfield wishing to participate in Trick or Treat Night are asked to turn on their porch light between the hours of 2:30 and 4 p.m.

"We also want to remind everyone there could be small children walking around and to take extra precautions when driving and to observe the safety recommendations," Theaker said.

The following communities have also rescheduled trick-or-treat. Updated times and dates are listed below.

Bellville: Oct. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. The Halloween parade has been cancelled.

Lexington: Oct. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. Residents wishing to participate are asked to turn on their porch lights.

Lucas: Oct. 31 from 2 to 3 p.m. 

Shelby: Oct. 31 to 2 to 4 p.m.

Mansfield: Oct. 31 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Residents wishing to participate in trick-or-treat are asked to turn their porch lights on.

Ontario: Oct. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. Residents wishing to participate in trick-or-treat are asked to turn their porch lights on.

Meanwhile, Richland Public Health is reminding residents that Ohio is still under a mass gathering ban, which includes parades, fairs and festivals.

"Parades of any type were cancelled by the Governor back in August. That order is standing. He emphasized that again in his Tuesday press conference," Sarah Humphrey, Health Commissioner at Richland Public Health, said. "Richland Public Health sent an email to all communities in Richland County to remind them that Halloween parades were not allowed because of the Governor's orders and thanking those that had already complied."

DeWine has "strongly recommended" canceling hayrides, haunted houses and trunk-or-treating events. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed traditional trick-or-treating, where children go from door to door collecting treats to be "high risk."

Trick or Treat Safety Recommendations

Trick or Treaters:

• First and foremost! You do not have to participate if you do not want to or you do not feel safe.

• Do not participate if you or your child feels sick, has symptoms of COVID-19 or is at high risk of complications due to underlying medical conditions or with a compromised immune system.

• Get an influenza vaccine at least two weeks before Halloween.

• Wear comfortable costumes to ensure face masks cover both nose and mouth.

• Wear cloth face masks or coverings appropriate for COVID-19, except for children under two years of age and individuals with medical contraindications.

• Avoid rubber or plastic costume masks.

• Go only during times designated by local authorities.

• Only trick or treat with a small group of family members.

• Maintain social distance of at least six feet from other groups.

• Avoid going door to door in clusters.

• Participate in Halloween activities outdoors.

• Stay in your own neighborhood.

• Avoid big parties, large gatherings and indoor activities.

• Practice hand hygiene and bring hand sanitizer to use between houses.

• Take only wrapped candy or treats.

• Consider bringing your own candy and give to children at each stop instead of treats from neighbors.

Treat Givers:

• First and foremost! You do not have to participate if you do not want to or you do not feel safe.

• Do not participate if you or anyone in your household feels sick, has symptoms of COVID-19 or is at high risk of complications due to underlying medical conditions or immunocompromise.

• Get an influenza vaccine at least two weeks before Halloween.

• Designate one adult per household to hand out candy or treats.

• Wear cloth face masks or coverings appropriate for COVID-19.

• Put candy or treats in individual baggies and lay out for children instead of putting in a large bowl for self-service.

• Sit outside behind a table to give out candy or treats.

• Stay inside behind a screen door to watch trick or treaters from a distance.

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie.ellington@richlandsource.com