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Halloween events shifting to drive-thru, social distancing during pandemic

Standing next to strangers while grabbing candy out of a bowl is not highly recommended by health experts.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Going door-to-door this Halloween may not be exactly like years past.

Standing next to strangers while grabbing candy out of a bowl is not highly recommended by health experts.

People may be looking for something else that will give them a scare while still being safe and social distancing.

One option is a Halloween drive-thru.

The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a real fright on the future of the Halloween and themed-event industry.

RELATED: LIST: 2020 trick-or-treat dates & times across central Ohio

“This has certainly been a year like no other,” says Scarefactory founder and President David Fachman. 

“We make animated characters and creatures for themed entertainment,” he says of the Columbus-based company that started more than 20 years ago. 

But with COVID-19, Fachman says his business took a hit, especially with Halloween being the biggest event of the year.

“I’ve had people who have been here 15 to 16 years that I had to furlough which was hard, but I just didn’t have work for them to do,” Fachman explained.

The last few months, Fachman said there’s been a shift.

Organizations and companies are thinking “outside the box” on how to create safe, socially distanced events while still raising money. 

Right now, Fachman is gathering some of his characters and props for the JDRF Halloween Drive-Thru, which replaced the annual One Walk that brought more than 6,000 people to the CAS campus in north Columbus.

RELATED: Halloween drive-thru supporting JDRF features scary monsters, Hollywood animation

“A lot of the outdoor people – outdoor events – have moved towards the drive-thru or outdoor social experience,” he added.

In fact, Fachman said many businesses are already thinking past 2020 and planning for 2021.

But he said Christmas is around the corner and he has some exciting animated features in the making.

The JDRF Halloween Drive-thru is October 25th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the CAS Campus at 2540 Olentangy River Road in Columbus.

People can purchase tickets here.