CAIRO — Though this year’s annual downtown Boo on Broad trick-or-treating event has been canceled, Roddenbery Memorial Library will have a replacement event of its own following a vote Monday night by the Cairo City Council.

The library will host a special drive-through “trunk-or-treat” event Thursday, October 29 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Trick-or-treaters will remain in their vehicles as sponsors distribute candy to children. The free event will take place in the Davis parking lot behind the library.

Patsy Pallone, the library children’s coordinator who submitted the request to host the event, said the concept offers local children a safer alternative to Boo on Broad.

Pallone said her inspiration for the event came from similar candy giveaways held by other libraries across the country.

Main Street director Alyssa Blakley gave credit to Pallone for researching the event “front and back, forward, sideways, up and down.

“She knows everything and it seems like she’s covered all of the bases on the ‘what if’s.’”

Blakley said she was excited when she heard of Pallone’s concept.

“We agreed to form a partnership this year, so that we can make this an even safer alternative for Boo on Broad and hope the community will support the temporary replacement,” she said.

Businesses interested in participating as vendors are asked to call (229) 377-3632.

City council members voted unanimously Monday night to green light the event.

The special event comes in lieu of the city’s annual Boo on Broad trick-or-treating event, which was canceled last week due to concerns over the novel coronavirus. Mayor Howard Thrower, himself the chair of the library’s board of trustees, said city officials were concerned they would have been unable to ensure the safety of attendees at the event.

Blakley made a determination last week that it would have been “impossible” to keep residents safe from the virus at the annual downtown candy giveaway. A majority of downtown businesses told Blakley they were uncomfortable potentially exposing their employees to virus for the event.

“This cancellation we understand is a major disappointment to the community, as so many look forward and attend this event each year,” she said.

The announcement of Boo on Broad’s cancellation came shortly after the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce’s own announcement last week that its annual Christmas parade has been canceled due to similar concerns. Cairo High School also determined not to move forward with its own homecoming parade.

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