Many are nervous about inviting trick-or-treaters to their doors during a pandemic, but the White House will flick on the lights and welcome kids for its annual Halloween celebration.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have invited children, including families of frontline workers and military members, to a trick-or-treating event Sunday at the White House.
It’s unclear how many people will attend. Guests at White House events are invited in advance — the Halloween celebration is not open to the public.
But anyone can head to the gates of the complex to catch the spooky decor: pumpkins, autumn leaves and white chrysanthemums cascading down the staircases, the first lady’s office said.
About three weeks after he was hospitalized with the coronavirus, the president plans to join the first lady and welcome the children as they pass by the South Portico of the White House, the first lady’s office said in a press release.
Aside from seeing the first family, kids who attend can fill up candy bags around the lawn and enjoy other haunts hosted by federal agencies, including an inflatable rocket from NASA, photobooths and a visit from Smoky the Bear.
Pandemic precautions will be in place, organizers said. Guests older than 2 years old must wear masks. The event will have fewer people but longer hours than it has in past years to promote social distancing.
White House staff who pass out candy to children will wear gloves and use a no-touch approach to the trick-or-treating.
Many of the most popular Halloween events in Washington, D.C., were canceled in 2020, including the High Heel Race through Dupont Circle and Georgetown’s annual parties.
Under a mayoral order, crowds over the size of 50 are not allowed in the District — but the White House is federal property and not subject to that limit.