Trick! No White House treats for Halloween this year

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ghosts and goblins can scratch the White House from their trick or treating routes this year.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be in Europe on Halloween and won’t be at the White House to help hand out candy and other treats.

Instead, the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the White House will be lit up in orange light to celebrate the spooky holiday, said the first lady’s spokesperson, Michael LaRosa.

It’s the Bidens’ first Halloween at the White House.

“The president and first lady will be traveling internationally during the last days of October, and will not be hosting a specific event at the White House,” LaRosa said in a statement.

The Bidens will be in Rome, where the president will attend the annual Group of 20 summit of the world’s leading rich and developing nations from Oct. 30-31.

LaRosa did not mention the coronavirus pandemic in his statement, but he said Biden and his wife were encouraging families and children to celebrate Halloween by trick or treating outdoors. Public health experts say outdoor activity is safest during the pandemic.

Last year during the pandemic, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted trick or treaters at the White House for Halloween shortly after they both had recovered from COVID-19. The celebration was tweaked to take the coronavirus into consideration.

The president and first lady did not personally hand out treats, but waved and gestured as the costumed kids walked by them. Guests older than 2 and White House personnel working the event were required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Staffers giving out candy also wore gloves.

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE | Associated Press

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