Entertainment In the United States, a Halloween 2020 against a backdrop of Covid-19

09:20  30 october  2020
09:20  30 october  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Aux États-Unis, un Halloween 2020 sur fond de Covid-19 © Provided by Le Point

Croton-on-Hudson, a quiet town 60 kilometers from New York, generally attracts more than 100,000 tourists for its Halloween celebrations . But this year, America's Great Pumpkin and Horror Party will be under heavy surveillance, with unusual thrills due to pandemic and election. "Witches' Night" is a real industry in this region of the Hudson River Valley: tourists disembark in Croton and the nearby town of Sleepy Hollow, attracted by "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - the story of a schoolteacher persecuted by a headless horsewoman, conceived by Washington Irving in 1820.

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Croton has however maintained its main event: "the great fire of Jack O'Lantern", a sound and light show with more than 7,000 carved and illuminated pumpkins, in front of the historic home of Van Cortlandt Manor. "I'm so happy they kept it up this year. There are so many things kids can't do, it's good to have a Halloween tradition that they can participate in," said to Agence France-Presse Sarah Nocerino, 36, mother of two daughters, who comes to see this show every year.

The presidential election in everyone's mind

Everywhere in the United States, Halloween promises to be very watched this year, the approach of a particularly tense presidential election adding to the pandemic. "Do you know what's more worrying than Halloween? That people don't go and vote," Michigan Attorney General Democrat Dana Nessel recently tweeted, dressed as a witch for the occasion. Some costumes reflect current events, with ballot-shaped outfits or Vice President Mike Pence's wig adorned with a fake fly, a souvenir of his debate against Democratic rival Kamala Harris.

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Even the city of Salem, Massachusetts - which has become a kind of witches capital thanks to its famous witchcraft trials of the 1690s - the authorities have asked the visitors to avoid coming, for fear of contamination. From Massachusetts to California, many states have advised children not to go knocking on doors in search of sweets this year, as tradition dictates, without however wanting to prohibit it.

Virtual show in New York

Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) ask to avoid this ritual, just like costume parties. They recommend that sweets and other sweets be left outside, in individual sachets, away from the entrance of houses or apartments. In New York itself, the very festive parade which brings together some 60,000 people each year has been replaced by a virtual show.

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Croton-on-Hudson will have despite everything, Saturday, its competition of the most frightening scarecrow, and its parade of elves for children, with all the precautions necessary, explains Brian Pugh, mayor of this city of 8,000 inhabitants. "After seven months of the pandemic, the psychological impact of distancing is weighing on the morale of a lot of people," he said, determined to enjoy a "scary Halloween, safe."

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