Trick or treating has enjoyed somewhat of a Maltese renaissance in the last couple of years, and many would argue we owe it all to towns like the otherwise-feastless Pembroke and its young metalhead mayor Dean Hili.
With COVID-19 still causing mass global cancellations, however, it looks like Halloween 2020 will have to take a heartbreaking backseat this year.
Lovin Malta reached out to Hili about the no doubt devastating cancellation, with the mayor elaborating on the tough but necessary decision.
“Obviously, the locality has become synonymous with Halloween festivities,” Hili started, looking back on previous years where the streets of Pembroke would be dotted with spooky decorations and creepy costumes, all coming to a glorious head in Triq San Ġorġ Preca.
“Having young kids, accompanied by their parents roaming the locality on foot trick or treating, and gathering for what had become our yearly celebration in Triq San Ġorġ Preca is something we really look forward to!” Hili stressed.
“Unfortunately, the success of the activity depends on big gatherings, and the nature of the activity itself means it would be irresponsible for us to go ahead this year.”
“The sole purpose of the activity is to bring people together, collecting donations for Puttinu Cares,” Hili reminded everyone.
“It’s an issue the council has discussed with various residents and entities, because the whole thing goes beyond our own locality.”
“There are elements which we promote… but unfortunatetly there’s also been an unsavoury spill-off from other surrounding localities, especially in the Park & Ride last year,” Hili continued, referring to a previous impromptu gathering that was beyond the council’s control and quickly spiralled into madness.
The latter episode was particularly worrying to Dean Hili and the Pembroke local council, with egg fights leading to fist fights, vandalising of property, old locals being tormented in their homes and heavy police presence having to be called in. “It almost turned into a riot,” Hili recounted. “That’s definitely not something we encourage or promote.”
“Maintaining social distance in an activity intended to gather as many children as possible for a charitable cause would be next to impossible.”
“As much as we love seeing our streets filled with happy faces, it is wise for everyone to consider staying home this year and not gather in large numbers,” the young mayor continued, already looking forward to 2021’s celebration.
“Obviously, we don’t have a festa, but it’s become a celebration synonymous with the locality and we’re always glad to have so many people visiting, and so many residents participating by decorating their houses and tending to so many children,” Hili finished.