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CDC says Halloween can be 'normal' this year, with precautions

Arkansans are days away from a day filled with some scares, fun costumes, and of course, lots of candy!

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — We are just five days away from a day filled with some scares, fun costumes, and of course, lots of candy!

Last year those normal Halloween celebrations weren't encouraged, but this year the CDC says those things so many of us love can return.

After a year where many people didn't celebrate Halloween the way we're used to, the new CDC guidelines not only excite Arkansans, but also the people who run businesses solely for this holiday.

The scares, the decorations, and the costumes are back as the countdown to Halloween falls to the single digits.

Shoppers like Markhitha Harris said they're ready for a more normal year.

"We're very excited. We're very very excited," she said.

Charlene Strauss, the district manager for Spirit Halloween, said she feels the excitement too.

"It's so exciting this year and I think everybody is experiencing that and expressing that," she said.

Five days before the holiday, Spirit Halloween in Little Rock had a line of customers at the cash register with people roaming the store for that perfect gift. 

Many, like Harris, are getting ready to dress up after a year where celebrations weren't normal.

"We didn't do anything, we were in the house last year, so that's why we are excited this year. We get to get out and enjoy our Halloween, go to a costume party or something," she said.

According to Strauss, the Halloween-centered retail shop has been busy for the past several weeks with eager shoppers.

"It's so nice to see them feeling like they know that they can enjoy Halloween together this year, not in isolation and get together," she said.

After a year filled with drive-by parades, empty candy bowls, and a few haunted houses, the CDC says people can feel comfortable celebrating the October 31st holiday like normal.

Dr. Joe Thompson with the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement agrees.

"I think we are in a different place this Halloween compared to last Halloween," he said.

Thompson said outdoor trick-or-treating is the safest and if parents have kids who can't be vaccinated, he said to get creative.

"If parents can figure out how to work a mask into the costume, that would be great, because you had them both the fun of the costume and the protection from the mask," he said.

While the spookiest day of the year is upon us, Thompson said to have a balance of fun and caution.

"I would encourage parents not to overdo it, enjoy Halloween, get out, do a limited amount," he said.

Thompson said if you are giving out candy at your house, make sure the person handing it out to children is vaccinated. 

He also added that if you're celebrating indoors, be cautious if you don't know everyone's vaccination status.