By Heather Janssen

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The spookiest holiday of the year looked and felt different during the pandemic. Many people ditched the door-to-door festivities, but others took on tradition no matter what.

But no matter how it was celebrated, creativity was put to the test so kids could enjoy an iconic holiday.

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For Chris Conlin in East Sacramento, he wasn’t going to let COVID-19 put an end to a trick-or-treating tradition.

“Kids have had enough scary things this year,” Conlin said. “We thought they need something nice.”

With a handmade candy chute, he kept 6 feet distance as he gave out treats to kids and even dogs, too. It made the night for families like Jazz Garlington’s.

“It’s important for us to celebrate in some way,” Garlington said. “We’re not going to as many houses as we usually would.”

This Halloween felt much different, though.

“It’s just sad to see the streets aren’t full,” Garlington said.

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With plenty of people opting out, some set up signs to let any trick or treaters to stay safe and they’d see them next year. Groups were much smaller in East Sacramento – normally a hot spot for the holiday. Some say they only got a quarter of their normal amount of visitors.

That wasn’t the case in Old Sacramento, though, where you’d find bigger crowds Saturday afternoon – but the same amount of creativity.

“I’m spending my Halloween as a happy dinosaur giving out candy,” said Ryan Alsunna.

Alsunna chose to go to Old Sacramento for the day in a T-Rex costume to treat kids in a prehistoric way.

“Just to bring a little bit of happiness to the kids,” he said.

Many just like him, tried to strike that balance between normalcy and safety on the scariest day of the year.

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Health officials have been consistent with their messaging; urging people to stay distant, wear their masks and avoid crowds. If people chose to go out, they said, it could lead to a spike in COVID cases. Though any spike that could be attributed to the holiday may not be seen until weeks from now.

Heather Janssen