The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, Sept. 16 withdrew its support for the popular Citrus Grove Blvd. Trunk or Treat event due to COVID-19 concerns.
Parks & Recreation Director Elizabeth Ricci said that after discussions between Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office representatives and ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson, supporting the event as ITID has in recent years would put the district in jeopardy.
“We decided that the safest bet for Halloween on Citrus Grove is that we do not participate in the event,” Ricci said. “Unfortunately, moving into Phase 2, we thought things would change for Parks & Recreation and group size gatherings, but where we stand with executive orders and CDC guidelines, we are still unable to safely assist with that event.”
She felt it would be a good idea to have deputies stationed to monitor the parks and roads to see that no large-scale activities are being held on Halloween night, but not interfere with the activities of individual residents.
Hanson pointed out that many municipalities are canceling their holiday events.
Ricci and PBSO Lt. Craig Turner will meet and decide whether additional deputies would be needed for Halloween night.
ITID President Betty Argue said it would be difficult to control what individual residents do on their own property.
“If the residents on Citrus Grove decide that they’re going to go ahead with Halloween, Lt. Turner, will you guys be prepared to handle that?” Argue asked, explaining that ITID had gotten involved with the resident-run event in a support role after the event grew and became a community event that bled over into Citrus Grove Park at the corner of Avocado and Citrus Grove boulevards, where restrooms were opened to accommodate residents.
“It’s a wonderful event, but the problem is that we’re in a pandemic,” Argue said. “Regardless of what your opinion is, we have to abide by emergency orders and CDC guidelines.”
Supervisor Jennifer Hager agreed that support from ITID should be withdrawn from the event and have additional deputies, but she did not want to interfere with individual residents’ activities on their property.
“I know people are going to do what people want to do, and I’m pretty sure, knowing the people on Citrus Grove Blvd., they’re going to have Halloween,” Hager said, adding that she felt candy should not be offered on the street.
Supervisor Joni Martin pointed out that last year, ITID had opened up and lit Citrus Grove Park for the event.
“This year, that won’t exist, and we’re not going to be putting lights on the street, right?” Martin said. “And the park will be closed as it had been in the past for many years.”
Argue agreed that the park would be closed and restroom facilities would not be available.
“If they want to have their own parties, that’s on them,” she said, adding that ITID should discourage the setting up of trunk or treat cars on the swales.
Turner urged the board to hire additional deputies to keep the event manageable, and Ricci said she would meet with him to make plans.