The Allerton Public Library and Monticello Chamber of Commerce are providing a safe, pre-Halloween event for area youth from 4 to 6:30 on Thursday, Oct. 29.

The “Goon Hunt,” taken from the book “Going on a Goon Hunt” by Michael Rex, will allow families to dress up and go to pre-determined businesses to pick up pre-packaged treats and gifts outside of those establishments.

“Everything will be on an outside table, everyone will be masked to make it safe for the kids,” said Cara Stoerger, the Youth and Programming Services Director at the library.

No reservations are needed to take part. A live stream story time featuring the book is planned for 3 p.m., which does require signup at the library website, www.monticellolibrary.org.

Stoerger adores the book, and had wanted to do a Goon Hunt anyway. It slid right into safe Trick or Treat efforts being eyed by the Chamber, leading to the collaborative effort.

Maps for the hunt will be available on the Chamber website, monticellochamber.org, and participating businesses will be well-marked.

Stoerger said the library will be one of the stops.

“I’m excited. I haven’t seen these kids since March,” she said.

Once planners knew traditional trick or treat hours would be observed on Oct. 31, Stoerger said the Goon Hunt was scheduled for another day so it would not compete with the traditional Halloween activities.

Businesses that want to take part and be included in the map can call the Chamber of Commerce office at 217-762-7921 or email Shelly Crawford-Stock at shelly@monticellochamber.org.

Trick or treat hours

Most area communities have scheduled trick or treat hours for Oct. 31. Those wishing to hand out candy should have their porch light turned on. Participants are encouraged to follow Centers For Disease Control guidelines regarding facial coverings and social distancing.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has also issued guidance for Halloween, which can be found here: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/halloween-guidance. It advises prepackaged treats be placed on tables outside of homes in order to afford social distancing.

Trick or treat hours are (all on Oct. 31):

Atwood – 6 to 8 p.m.

Bement – 5 to 8 p.m.

Cerro Gordo – 5 to 7 p.m.

Cisco – 5 to 7 p.m.

DeLand – 5 to 8 p.m.

Hammond – 6 to 8 p.m.

Mansfield – 5 to 8 p.m.

Monticello – 5 to 9 p.m.