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Halloween 2020 Takes On A New Look in Manhattan Beach

Oct 09, 2020 10:59AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Halloween might be one of Manhattan Beach's favorite holidays, but it's going to look a lot different this year.

For starters, there won't be a World Famous Pumpkin Race. There won't be public trick-or-treating events; and the privately hosted trick-or-treating events like the traditional South End walk streets extravaganza are certain to be limited. Heck, even the spectacular "Nightmare Before Christmas on Palm Ave." won't be happening this year.

So what *can* you do for Halloween? 

Here's what might be the biggest coordinated event of the season: Manhattan Beach's Parks & Recreation Department and the Manhattan Beach Downtown Business and Professional Association are hosting a "virtual" pumpkin decorating contest that starts with a public pumpkin display on October 25. 

Residents are encouraged to decorate their pumpkins ahead of time and drop them off at Metlox Plaza (13th and Morningside) at a “Pumpkin Valet” between noon and 5:00 p.m. on October 25. Organizers will take photos of the pumpkins and upload them to a contest web site. Prizes from local businesses will be awarded for the favorite pumpkins in the following categories: Best Kids Creation, Good Enough to Eat, Most Artistic, Most Original, Scariest, and Local Love for MB pumpkins.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery weighed in on the new event in a statement: “While I lament the loss of our typical Halloween celebration, our shared goal with the county is to minimize risk of COVID-19 and prevent future surges in coronavirus cases or hospitalizations. I encourage the community to celebrate in accordance with the city’s and county’s recommendations and decorate your pumpkin for the entire community to see virtually.”

Other Manhattan Beach Halloween events include:

  • Love & Salt is hosting a "Socially Distanced Pumpkin Carving Contest." Upload a picture of your carved pumpkin between October 18-22; then drop off your pumpkin at Love & Salt to be judged between Oct. 22-23. Categories include most creative, funniest, scariest, cutest,  realistic, best use of materials, grossest, and most neatly stenciled. Prizes will be awarded in age groups 3-6, 7-12, 13-17, and adult.

  • Manhattan Beach Haunted House is a popular scary attraction on 10th Street in East Manhattan. This year, instead of an in-person haunted house, the group will present a live-streamed virtual event: VIRTUAL SLEEPY HOLLOW. The live-stream will feature an up-close view of the unique Halloween decor (think living monsters!), accompanied by a dark and eerie EDM soundtrack with DJ Artrancio (a.k.a. the DJ of Darkness). Visit the Facebook event page on Halloween night from 6pm to 9pm to experience the Halloween thrills.

  • Individual families are taking extra time with home decorations and even pumpkin patches this year. Take a drive or a walk around the neighborhood and let us know your favorites. (Above, we've shared a photo of the "5th Street Pumpkin Patch" on the 1400 block of 5th Street.)

Other activities to look for include car parades and drive-by events, Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters, and Halloween-themed meals at local restaurants. If you know of any new COVID-safe Manhattan Beach Halloween activities, let us know and we'll add them to the list.

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