WARETOWN, NJ – The 2020 Waretown Haunted Hayride has been canceled this year due to social gathering restrictions related to COVID-19. Ocean Township officials have instead set up alternative plans for young and old ghosts and goblins.

The first comes from the local men and women in blue, who have added masks to their uniforms. Ocean Township Police teamed up Trailside Gardens this summer and treated children under 17 to a “Cone with a Cop.”

Children and adults are encouraged to wear costumes to the Halloween Edition of “Cone with a Cop.”  The Ocean Township PBA Local #371 and the Township of Ocean Municipal Alliance have partnered with Trailside Gardens once again.

Sign Up for Barnegat/Waretown Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Terror may or may not be in the air for all who come to haunt the biggest outdoor Halloween Party in town. The event is scheduled for Friday, October 30, 2020, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm at Trailside Gardens, 112 Wells Mill Road in Waretown.

Word is that superheroes and monsters may show up to the event, as well as some fancy princesses, and doctors and nurses. Many won’t be recognizable behind their masked faces.

Another Ocean Township tradition continues as residents have the chance to compete in the community’s Halloween House Decorating Contest.

“Judging will take place on October 21st between 6:30 and 9:00 pm, “shared Mayor Ken Baulderstone at this week’s township committee meeting. “The first prize is $100, second prize is $75, and the third prize is $50.”

Residents are not required to submit registration forms. Addresses of the nominated homes should be emailed to recreation@twpoceannj.gov or clerk@twpoceannj.gov

“Anyone who prefers to nominate a home by telephone can call me directly,” Jeanne Broadbent, Recreation Director offered.  “I can be reached at 609 548-6319.”

Homes costumed by professional decorators are excluded from the competition. Addresses of the winners will be published so that they can be viewed in person. TAPintoBarnegat/Waretown hopes to showcase the creativity of local neighbors as well.

The CDC has classified Halloween activities as lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. One of the safest ways of celebrating the holiday is to carve and decorate pumpkins. Families can also consider watching a scary movie together.  Or, venture out for a safe version of trick or treating.

“We are not canceling Halloween, “assured Ocean Township Police Chief Michal Rogalski.  “Trick or treaters need to take the usual precautions and also practice social distancing and stay masked.”

Those who plan to hand out treats should wear masks and hand out wrapped candies. Anyone with concerns can opt out on this year’s distribution as far as searching for goodies or giving them out.

And, then there’s the tradition of Mischief Night, which may be another casualty of 2020. Amid the pandemic, toilet paper became a treasured and hoarded commodity. Residents may not wake to find their trees mysteriously draped as Halloween sets in.

Halloween has not lost its spirit in Ocean Township. Residents are encouraged to give COVID-19 a good scare and "boo" it as far away from the community as possible.

Sign up for TAPinto E-News alerts to be the first to read about all things local.

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS for breaking news, traffic/weather alerts and special offers.

Please send all story leads or Letters to the Editor to sfaughnan@tapinto.net.