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Neighbors on Boise's popular Harrison Boulevard will not pass out candy this Halloween

Instead of trick-or-treating, neighbors will host a scavenger hunt and donate money budgeted for candy to Camp Rainbow Gold.

BOISE, Idaho — For decades, Harrison Boulevard in Boise's Northend has been the go-to spot for trick-or-treaters but this year, Halloween will look very different on the iconic street.

Harrison Boulevard will remain open to traffic and residents will not be passing out candy.

Julie Madsen, who helps organize the massive trick-or-treating event every year, explained to KTVB that they had to reimagine the holiday during the pandemic.

"That is really because on a full-moon-Saturday Halloween, we could be having as many as 20,000 people on our street or more and we just could not ensure people would be able to distance and be safe," Madsen said.

Madsen added neighbors will still go all out with spooky decorations but instead of trick-or-treating, there will be a visual scavenger hunt, which will include other houses in the North End besides Harrison Boulevard.

"To avoid any contact, we envision this as a see if you can spot a rainbow unicorn, what was the skeleton holding, which will allow the younger kids to kind of have a sense of adventure," Madsen explained.

When it gets closer to Halloween, families will be able to pick up a map that lists all the houses participating in the scavenger hunt.

While a scavenger hunt isn't quite the same as trick-or-treating, there is a silver lining to the change of plans.

Madsen said the money that neighbors would have spent on candy to pass out, which is about $1,000 per house on Harrison Boulevard, will go toward Camp Rainbow Gold, an Idaho non-profit that offers camps for children with cancer.

"Those kids live like it’s a pandemic every day," Madsen said. "They do not know what the future will bring, they are separated from family and friends and school and everything normal for a kid. And while it is a sad thing for us to not have normal, I think we all get in the bigger picture. There are people that have less normalcy and more difficulty than we do right now.

Click here for more information about the scavenger hunt or if you live in the Northend and would like your house to be on the map.

Gretchen Parsons is an anchor, reporter and producer at KTVB since 2016. You can follow her on Instagram @gretchenparsonsKTVB or  @gretchenKTVB on Twitter.

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