Halloween is “On” in Southeast Morris County


With Halloween around the corner, we are facing the challenge of continuing to keep each other safe during these unprecedented times, while also allowing some sense of normalcy around traditional events like Halloween.

Working alongside the Mayors from the four communities in Southeast Morris County, Madison Mayor Robert H. Conley is joined in support and commitment by Mayor Thaddeus J. Kobylarz, Chatham Borough; Mayor Michael Kelly, Chatham Township; Mayor Mark Taylor, Florham Park and Mayor Catherine J. Wilson, Morris Township, that for now, each municipality intends to hold Halloween, unless there is an uptick in COVID-19 cases and state guidance is changed.

Trick-or-Treating is “on” in Southeast Morris County on Saturday, October 31st. While traditional trick-or-treating is considered a higher risk activity by the CDC, there are ways to mitigate some risk given the general outdoor nature of trick-or-treating. In order for all residents to have a safe, yet enjoyable Halloween, the Mayors recommend the following guidance:

  • If you plan to give treats, consider ways you do so in a socially distant, less contact way. Consider one of these options from the NJ Department of Health Halloween Guidelines:
    • Good option: Limit interaction or contact with trick-or-treaters, wear a mask when individuals come to the door, and regularly wash hands;
    • Better option: Leave a treat bowl on a porch, near the sidewalk, end of driveway or in a place where it may be easily accessed while adhering to social distancing;
    • Best option: Arrange individually packaged candy or goodie bags so that trick-or-treaters can grab and go without accessing a shared bowl;
  • Use the universal sign of a porch light on as well as a “Trick-or-Treat Here” or “No Thank You” sign to indicate if you are welcoming trick-or-treaters this year. Signs for Madison residents can be picked up at Hartley Dodge Memorial (50 Kings Road) or the Health Department at the Civic Center (28 Walnut Street). Digital versions can be downloaded at www.Rosenet.org;
  • Trick-or-treaters should stay with their small groups—ideally groups that are members of their own household or “bubble”;
  • Wear a face covering. Your costume mask is not a substitute;
  • Maintain social distance from others, including other groups of trick-or-treaters and those giving treats at their homes;
  • Trick-or-Treat in your own neighborhood unless that is not possible. Do not visit other towns to trick-or treat.

Those that choose to host private gatherings must comply with the current NJ State requirements for indoor and outdoor gatherings. The Madison Health Department strongly recommends smaller, outdoor gatherings.

Within Madison, Halloween events sponsored by or traditionally permitted by the Borough that draw larger crowds, including the Halloween parade, magic show, downtown business trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treat will not occur this year.

“I am proud to be working with the mayors from the surrounding municipalities, as well as the Madison Board of Health, to ensure that there is some sort of normalcy during this Halloween amidst the pandemic,” said Mayor Conley. “The choices we make this Halloween, and every day, can have a major impact on the lives of our friends and neighbors. If we follow the simple safety recommendations, we can ensure that residents from all municipalities can enjoy Halloween in a safe manner, while remaining Madison Strong,” continued Conley.

In addition to working with the Mayors, Mayor Conley held a Halloween Preparedness Committee meeting with five Madison residents ranging between grades 2 and 8. Collectively their guidance followed that of the New Jersey Department of Health, and CDC. Some recommendations the committee discussed were:

  • Placing the candy on a table instead of in a bowl so that trick-or-treaters were not touching multiple pieces;
  • Staying within your neighborhood;
  • Creating a cardboard tube for a candy shoot;
  • Only trick-or-treat with close contacts;
  • Maintain social distancing;

In addition to COVID-19 safety procedures, they wanted to remind all residents to never trick-or-treat alone and only take factory sealed candy and check for any puncture holes before enjoying it.

Madison’s elected officials, Borough Administration and the Health Department will continue to monitor the health data between now and Halloween weekend. Any further updates to our plans will be shared on Rosenet.org and via Borough social media.


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