Halloween in Taos is a favorite holiday for many Taoseños, including the town of Taos Events Coordinator Judy Esquibel. She's been planning special events for Taos for close to 25 years and said the work of coordinating Halloween logistics, like separating hundreds of pounds of candy and donated gifts into individual bags, is the most rewarding when the day arrives and people drive up, dressed up for the occasion. Cars, dogs, kids and adults, everyone and everything, get into the spirit of Halloween.
 
"Everything about the event is pure joy," Esquibel says. "The kids' costumes, the look on their faces when they get into their goodie bags and everyone, including the volunteers, have smiles on their faces and are enjoying themselves.” Esquibel dresses up in a different costume every year. 
 
This year she’ll be Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.  
 
Sunday (Oct. 31), from 2 to 5 p.m. the town of Taos and Merchant Community is hosting the Halloween Grab and Go event in the Taos Historic District and it is free for children of all ages.
 
Tempo reached out to Esquibel and asked for details about the event and what you can look forward to if you decide to attend. At the time she and her volunteers were separating hundreds of pounds of candy, and gifts donated by local merchants and placing them in 2,500 goody bags in anticipation of the biggest Halloween celebration in Taos to date. 
 
How is Halloween for the town Of Taos shaping up for 2021?
 
The Taos Halloween Community Event COVID-style worked well last year and we are using it again this year. We are planning a drive-through holiday grab-and-go event with holiday goodie bags.
 
The pandemic impacted many town of Taos merchants and local businesses that would participate in our annual Halloween Trunk or Treat event downtown, but many are stepping up for the occasion with goodies and gifts.
 
The town of Taos Community Events department and local businesses are providing a safe and free Halloween event for children of all ages. In compliance with the New Mexico Department of Health and CDC guidelines, the drive-through Grab and Go Halloween Event will happen along Civic Plaza Drive. 
 
... Town staff and community volunteers (gloved and masked) will be on hand to distribute Halloween bags. All participants must attend in a vehicle; no walk-ups will be permitted. We are asking families to please remain in their vehicles at all times and children must attend with an adult. Children do not need to be in costume to receive a bag.
 
Who are the businesses and volunteers involved?
 
This event is made possible because of the many volunteers, town staff, merchants, business owners, nonprofit organizations, private sponsors, law enforcement and our fire department. Each contributed to bring this event together. It is a coordinated effort and everyone is doing their part.
 
What are the prizes?
 
This year’s prize for trick or treaters is a fun-filled Halloween goodie bag filled with much more than the traditional candy cones, chocolate bars and other sweet treats. The Halloween goodie bag you'll receive will also hold a coloring book, bubbles, stuffed long-arm Jack-o'-lantern, traditional Halloween candy to name just a few.  I don’t want to give you the list of items that will be in the bag because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. In past years at our annual Halloween event we would give out 1,000 bags. This year we will be handing out 2,500 Halloween bags.
 
Anything else our readers should know if they plan to attend?
 
Many things in society have changed due to the COVID-19 including our traditional Halloween event. We want to be able to provide the youth of our community a Halloween experience. Meanwhile, we are protecting everyone’s health by adhering to New Mexico Department of Health and CDC safety measures. The Grab and Go event is safe and, we hope, encourages Taoseños to dress up and even decorate their vehicles if they like.  
 
We are going to miss our traditional Halloween, but the most important thing is to keep everyone safe. 
 
We hope to see many of our community members at this event!  The town of Taos, Merchant Community, nonprofit organizations and everyone hosting the Grab and Go event would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!
 
For more information call Judy Esquibel at 575-751-2037 or email jesquibel@taosgov.com

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