Kelowna Halloween haunt not folding for COVID-19, merely taking to the road - InfoNews

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Kelowna Halloween haunt not folding for COVID-19, merely taking to the road

Even frights get better with a little help from friends, something Paul Coxe is learning this year.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 16, 2020 - 7:30 PM

A Kelowna man’s fondness for frightening Halloween revellers won’t be cut short by COVID-19.

Paul Coxe’s Grenfell Road haunted house is taking its trademark scariness to the streets this year, and there will be 20 spookily decorated vehicles touring four Kelowna neighbourhoods on Halloween and Halloween eve, Clarence Johnson, a close friend of Coxe's, said.

Usually, the haunted house can lure in as many as 5,000 people in search of a fright. The trouble is, that they can’t control the crowds and clean as needed in the time of COVID-19.

“At the beginning of COVID-19, when people started to have birthday parades, that was the catalyst,” Johnson said. “We thought, that’s a good idea, let’s do it.”

Already, Johnson has a ghostly plan for his van. Others who are just as dedicated to the scary season are coming up with similarly spooky decorations from the haunted house. They aim is to live up to the bar set at Grenfell Road.

While the show will go on the road, it will still be a fundraiser. In previous years they collected for the food bank but this year they are focusing on helping out Mamas for Mamas and will collect them as they go.

If anyone is wondering why the occasion is being kept while so many other things fold, Johnson said that it means a lot to Coxe.

Coxe is suffering from a rare disease that affects his muscles and makes it hard to breathe.

He was diagnosed several years ago. The first year, they weren’t sure he would be able to put the haunted house on but with the help of friends and family, he did.

“This really is what keeps him going — he’s a Halloween nut,” Johnson said in a previous interview.

The schedule is still coming together, but Johnson said that on Oct. 30, they will go to Kettle Valley in the Mission area and then on Saturday, Oct. 31 in the morning, they will go to the central area of Kelowna, in the afternoon they will go to Glenmore and in the evening they will go to Rutland.

More details will be available in the days ahead.

In general, though, the family event so many look forward to each year is going to look different due to the pandemic.  Parents and the people who provide Halloween fun will need to navigate a myriad of restrictions and safety concerns.

The Ministry of Health has yet to set out any parameters about whether to allow kids to go door to door.

Halloween falls on a Saturday, with a monthly blue moon to boot.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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