Trick or treating at the Southgate Mall has become a Missoula tradition, especially when the weather is unbearable and for little kids who are just learning about Halloween. So much has been canceled or postponed this year as our COVID numbers continue to grow in Missoula and the state, however, the Mall want to give families a bit of a break by at least allowing kids to trick-or-treat on Saturday.

Halloween is this Saturday and the community is invited to a limited capacity, socially distanced Candy Crawl at Southgate Mall. The event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. inside the former Lucky’s Market building. Families are asked to enter through the Brooks Street entrance, the main Lucky's entrance, and wear CDC-approved masks at all times. Please keep in mind, the staff are trying to do something nice for your kids, please keep your attitudes in check. That's just a recommendation from me, not the Mall, be nice, don't ruin your kids' holiday. And don't forget a plastic pumpkin or pillow case to collect all that candy!

The Southgate Mall management team worked closely with Missoula City-County Health Department to create an event that is both fun and protects the health and well-being of guests and staff. COVID-19 precautions for the Candy Crawl include masks required, limited capacity, social distancing, hand sanitizer stations, and contactless trick-or-treating.

As for your moldy, frozen pumpkins on the porch, each year after Halloween, millions of jack-o-lanterns end up in landfills. Here in Missoula, we are fortunate to have a local non-profit to help us recycle. Soil Cycle re-harvests pumpkins by collecting and delivering to local farmers to feed their animals nutrient rich pumpkins all winter. And they get all of this done on bikes, no matter the weather.

Soil Cycle is encouraging the public to donate their pumpkins from November 3rd to 7th at the Southgate Mall, asking that they not be painted or contain candles. A self-serve drop-off bin for pumpkins will be available at the Mall entrance next to Red Robin from November 3-7, as well as at the final drop-off event located in the Brooks Street parking lot on November 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.