Autumn has truly arrived, with election season and all manner of ghoulish creatures emerging from wherever they usually reside. I mean for Halloween, not the elections! Yes, it’s fall, with its leaves on the ground, crisp air and, notwithstanding all the craziness in our world, a season that for some reason feels just slightly more normal than this past spring. Thank goodness for all those ghosts and goblins!
Take the pandemic pass on traditional trick-or-treating. Halloween’s going to be a little different this year (like just about everything else), and Lafayette’s Parks & Recreation Department has been busy planning for all the ghosts and goblins that will appear Oct. 31. In place of trick-or-treating during the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is invited to participate in Lafayette’s Dress Up and Drive socially distant Halloween celebration.
The idea is simple: Put on your costumes, dress up your house or business and dress up your car with all kinds of Halloween decorations — the more outrageous, the better. Then hit the road and cruise Lafayette’s spooky streets — or just stay home and watch the car-parade of ghouls from your front window. It is bound to be a haunting blast, whether you enjoy from the comfort of your haunted house or drive around town in your wicked wagon. To prepare, residents are encouraged to get their over-the-top “Spooktacular” decorations up right now to make sure they’re ready for the official town tour the evening of Oct. 31.
Make sure to register your house or business by Oct. 23 so that it can be featured on the city’s official online Halloween Dress Up and Drive map. You can do so at bit.ly/DressUpDriveRegister. The map will be posted the week of Oct. 26, and you can find it and all the spooky details at bayareane.ws/36ON4XV. Please remember that Lafayette’s Dress Up and Drive is a bring-your-own-candy event compliant with all COVID-19 safety measures. So please stay in your car, home or yard, maintain social distancing at all times and don’t pass out candy. And as with every Halloween, obey all traffic laws and be aware of your surroundings. But above all, have a blast!
Business assistance: You may recall that back in April, the city of Lafayette created the Lafayette Business Assistance Program to help businesses and nonprofits access available resources offered by various state and federal agencies. Over the course of five months the program has helped 92 local businesses, including 10 nonprofits, secure $1,561,100 in funding. In addition, 822 Paycheck Protection Program loans were received by Lafayette businesses and organizations as a result of the program.
Despite months of negotiations, as we all know, Congress has not reached a deal on the Phase 4 Coronavirus Relief Package. As a result, last month Lafayette’s City Council voted to suspend the Business Assistance Program. The program’s webpage (https://bit.ly/LafBizAssist), however, will still provide the Lafayette business community with updated and useful information. Should the next round of federal funding contain an assistance package that could benefit Lafayette businesses, the council will consider resuming this beneficial program.
Run for Education: The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce has decided — to say with great regret would be an understatement — to cancel three of Lafayette’s biggest annual events: Trick or Treat Street, the Thanksgiving Community Breakfast and the “It’s a Wonderful Life in Lafayette” holiday celebration. But the Reservoir Run for Education is taking place, virtually, of course, this Oct. 16-31. Find out more and support our schools at lafayettechamber.org/resrun.
Get out the vote!: Don’t wait until Election Day, Nov. 3, to cast your ballot. In Lafayette, the bright white ballot drop-off box, which is open 24-7, is at the Lafayette School District Office, 3477 School St. You can find a complete list of countywide ballot drop-off boxes and early voting sites online at bayareane.ws/33JykaI. Remember, vote early (but not often). See you next month and stay safe.
Jeffrey Heyman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him and the city of Lafayette on Twitter at @JeffHeyman and @LoveLafayette.