JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Halloween is right around the corner and it will look different this year due to the pandemic.
Jacksonville’s historic Springfield neighborhood is celebrating the holiday by highlighting one of the area’s signature staples while remaining socially distant.
“It’s all about connecting with people," homeowner Brad May said. “So, I want to see that wave, that smile, that grin because nothing we do is particularly scary, but it’s all about engaging people in the neighborhood and letting people know that you care to show them something.”
Historic Springfield celebrating spooky season by highlighting a unique part of the neighborhood’s identity, its residents' porches.
“We have over 50 porches that have decorated for the holiday," Kelly Rich, executive director of Springfield Preservation and Revitalization, said. “We’ve actually partnered up with Visit Jax who’s put it on one of their tour maps, that’s on their website or app. Or you can just mosey around the neighborhood. That’s the best thing about it. You can bike, you can walk, you can drive, and enjoy. So, it’s built for safe social distancing.”
Springfield’s Halloween Porch Decorating Contest is a safe, free and creative way for families to celebrate the season, according to the neighborhood council. Whether it’s building camaraderie between neighbors or providing a scare — for this community, it’s all about going the extra mile to show visitors it cares.
“People are lonely and want to get out and see and do," May said. “So casually waving at someone you don’t know could mean the world to them. And it’s easy to do, it’s just like smiling you just do it.”
Porches will be decorated through the holiday weekend, but winners will be announced on Wednesday. Below are some of the other festivities:
- Wednesday, Oct. 28, 5-8:30 p.m. — Music on Main: Michael Mason in Sesquicentennial Park
- Thursday, Oct. 29, 5-8 p.m. — Pumpkin Party and Bike-A-Boo! at Brick and Beam
- Friday, Oct. 30, 7-9 p.m. — Halloween Brewery Crawl with Main Events Jax at Strings, Hyperion, and Main & Six breweries