Socially-distanced adaptive Halloween party brings members of Charlottesville community together

Socially-distanced adaptive Halloween party brings members of Charlottesville community together

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Socially isolating is hard on all of us - and for some communities, it’s been harder than others.

On Friday, Halloween Eve, in the spirit of Halloween, a special group was able to get together face-to-face for the first time in a long time.

At Washington Park in Charlottesville, the stage was set for what would be considered a ‘regular’ Halloween celebration in 2020: temperature checks and socially-distanced tables. But this event had more importance than just any trick-or-treat or haunted house.

“For individuals with disabilities and their families, and then the general public, it’s our socially distanced Halloween party," said Caitlin Marcotte, the adaptive recreation specialist with Charlottesville Parks and Recreation.

It brought together a community that needed togetherness, together.

“We’ve never seen each other, in quite a while,” Joshua Rocker said.

Joshua was one of a few dozen teenagers and adults that have been a part of some virtual get-togethers. They’ve even done things like have a fitness class over Zoom. But, he says there’s something so nice about being able to see those friends up close.

“It’s been fun to see everybody,” he said. "It’s great to see everybody here.”

Pretty much everybody, volunteers and all, were wearing a costume. A dog was even wearing a prisoner outfit, a sign that he may have “escaped” to join in on the fun.

Joshua was no different - except when we asked what he was dressed as, he couldn’t take his eyes off his more frightening friends.

“I dressed up as a cowboy. Ben what are-- a devil!? And there’s a witch,” he said with a laugh.

Having everyone alongside one another to take photos and make artwork was exactly what Marcotte had been waiting for.

“It’s just really really beneficial for them to get out, get some fresh air on this beautiful day, and have some face-to-face interaction and let them know that we’re still here,” she said.

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