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White House won't host Halloween event for kids due to Biden travel plans
The White House will be lit up in orange to celebrate Halloween this weekend but there will be no in-person events to celebrate the spooky holiday due to President Biden and first lady Jill Biden's international travel plans.
"On the evening of October 31, 2021, the north facade of the White House will be illuminated in orange in celebration of Halloween. 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," Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for the first lady, tweeted Wednesday.
"The First Family encourages families and children to celebrate Halloween with trick or treating outdoors in their neighborhoods or other outdoor venues," he added.
LaRosa said in an email to The Hill that international travel was solely behind the decision not to hold Halloween-related events at the White House this year, not the coronavirus pandemic.
The president and first lady are scheduled to depart Thursday for a trip to Europe that includes stops in Rome for a Group of 20 (G-20) summit and Glasgow for a United Nations summit on climate change.
Sunday will be the first Halloween with the Bidens in the White House. Then-President Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted children at the White House last year for Halloween with some precautions despite the coronavirus pandemic after both had recovered from COVID-19. Presidents and first ladies typically hand out treats to children to celebrate the holiday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages families to celebrate Halloween outdoors while continuing to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"I would say put on those costumes, stay outside, and enjoy your trick-or-treating," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on "Fox News Sunday."
"I wouldn't gather in large settings outside and do screaming like you are seeing in those football games, if you are unvaccinated, those kids that are unvaccinated," Walensky added. "But if you are spread out doing your trick-or-treating, that should be very safe for your children."
Kids under the age of 12 currently are not approved to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, a Food and Drug Administration expert advisory panel on Tuesday recommended authorizing the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, bringing that age group closer to getting a shot.