Oregon District’s Hauntfest officially canceled

Hauntfest, downtown Dayton's annual Halloween celebration and street party along Fifth Street, has been canceled for 2020 due to ongoing safety concerns around the spread of COVID-19. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

One of Dayton’s biggest and most celebrated Halloween parties will not take place this year.

Hauntfest, the annual Halloween street party along Fifth Street in the Oregon District in downtown Dayton, has been canceled due to ongoing safety concerns with the coronavirus.

“Out of concern for the health and safety of our guests and employees and local community, and with a deep appreciation for the financial soundness of our bars, restaurants, retail, and service businesses, the Oregon District Business Association will not be holding Hauntfest in any capacity this year,” the Oregon District Business Association announced today, Sept. 30.

However, the Out on 5th pilot program — which turns Fifth Street into a pedestrian mall on weekends with no vehicular traffic allowed — will still take place on Oct. 31 to encourage safe social distancing practices related to COVID-19, according to the statement.

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“We request strict adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing, every day and especially on celebratory holidays like Halloween,” the statement said.

The designated outdoor refreshment area, DORA, will not be in effect on Oct. 31, and there will be no open containers permitted within the DORA boundaries. Open container fines will be in effect.

“We are disappointed that we must make this decision and announcement canceling an event that has such a rich history and dedicated following,” according to the statement. “We must, however, focus on keeping our communities safe and, as an organization, we must be mindful to not offer any services that compete with the permanent brick and mortar establishments in the Oregon District.”

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