Ashley Cowser and her daughter Aasha celebrate Halloween every year. This year they are doing it safely. Photo provided by Ashley Cowser
Ashley Cowser and her daughter Aasha celebrate Halloween every year. This year they are doing it safely.

Halloween will be Michigan’s first holiday without a state of emergency. These moms are still vowing to protect their kids, while still making scary fun.

MICHIGAN—Southfield resident Ashley Cowser doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t celebrating Halloween, and now she is bringing her daughter, Aasha, 5, into the mix for the spooky, festive fun.

“My favorite Halloween memory is when I was in elementary school; we had a school dance and went to a haunted house,” said Cowser. “It is my favorite time of the year. I always get to enjoy celebrating with friends and family.”

Growing up, Coswer recalls attending Vernor Elementary School in Detroit in the 1990s and basking in the Halloween spirit with a chill in the air every season, ushering in the holiday.

Cowser felt this year more than ever that it was her duty as a mother to make Halloween especially special this year, but in a safe way that protects her family during a national crisis.

READ MORE: Michigan to Become the Only State Not Recognizing a Coronavirus State of Emergency

Tall Tales 

“I remember seeing the beautiful orange red leaves on the playground,” she said of Halloween. “The leaves are ruffling across the playground or crunching when I was walking on them.”

This year Cowser will have COVID-19 precautions at the back of her mind as she will put social distancing measures in place this year; use extra hand sanitizer, hand wash a lot, and wear masks when applicable if they go and do activities.

“Or we will have our own Halloween party at home watching movies, dressing up and listening to music,” Cowser said.

The Halloween aficionado added that she has already ordered costumes off of Amazon for the big day.

“Aasha will be a mummy and I will be a skeleton lady,” Cowser said, adding that the pandemic isn’t dampening her fun. “I allowed her to pick out her costume trying to keep it as normal as possible. I am looking forward to having peaceful fun with loved ones in a safe way.”

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A Surprise Awaits Those Who Dare to Enter

Christina Roach-Jacobs, owner of Westland-based Hug-a-Bug Christian childcare facility, is bubbly and loves to make others smile and laugh. She hopes her annual trunk or treat event will have the same effect on attendees in a couple of weeks.

“The event is more about getting together with the kids and having fun and getting dressed up,” she said of the day.

Her facility has hosted previous fall festival-themed events indoors, but now with COVID-19 restrictions, she is careful to have it outside to keep her staff and attendees safe.

Cars will safely line up around the facility, decorate their trunks with Halloween decorations and delights for the children who attend her school. 

“It’s a good time for parents to walk around and get to know each other and just spread some positivity about each other’s trunks,” she said, adding that crowds enjoy it and are planning to return this year. “The fall is definitely beautiful. It is a cozy time to reflect and be and to look at the beauty that God’s given us. For me it was always a glowing time; everything just seems to glow.”

She added that she hopes to put a smile on other’s faces during the event, because with a large portion of people still remaining at home, connection is needed now more than ever.

“We’re all supposed to have one another and if we can share joy it fuels us for a while,” she said.

The Wayne County Public Health Department encourages communities to celebrate safely during COVID-19, including virtual activities and family-friendly games.

“Despite the current conditions due to COVID-19, residents can still enjoy festivities with loved ones, but with greater care,” said County Executive Warren C. Evans in a Facebook post. “We encourage everyone to be mindful and manage each activity and event with safety as a top priority.”

According to the Health Department, current measures to limit spread still apply during the holiday months:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Social distance of at least six feet.
  • Wear a face covering that covers both the mouth and nose.
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

“There are dozens of safe alternatives to the customary trick-or-treating and parties,” said Carol Austerberry, Wayne County Public Health Officer. “We have provided some suggestions to get started and we hope communities build on our ideas to make this season fun for all.”

The safe celebration guide can be found for download on the Wayne County COVID-19 webpage,

“Get creative. We are all wearing masks, so why not decorate them?” said Austerberry. “Make safety fun this holiday.”

SEE ALSO: This Flint-Based Performance Artist Became a Full-Time Creative During Quarantine