Watch now: Trick-or-treaters hit up Cross County Mall on Sunday | Local

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MATTOON — This year’s Halloween fell on a cool and windy Sunday, wrapping up a week filled with several community events.

The activities have been welcome, after the pandemic caused countless events to cancel last year.

After several days of outdoor events, one of the best ways to spend the holiday, many families found, was indoors at the Cross County Mall on Sunday afternoon.

Watch now: Charleston Moose Lodge serves up sweet tradition Saturday morning

This was the mall’s first indoor trick-or-treating since the pandemic began, and it brought over a hundred families to the mall as store employees handed out candy for eager kids in costumes.

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“It’s a good community event,” said Lauren Norris, real estate coordinator for Rural King, which owns the mall. “I think people like the option to come in and trick-or-treat. It’s more of a controlled environment —especially with little kids. It also brings people out to the mall. I don’t necessarily think it makes people shop more, but it gets people in the door.”

Pumpkins decorated by different stores at the Cross County Mall on display during the mall’s trick-or-treating event on Sunday afternoon.

This year, the mall’s event was earlier in the day.

“Usually we do it in conjunction with night trick-or-treating, but since the stores close early on Sunday, we’re doing it in the afternoon,” said Norris. “Not too much has changed. It’s still a good turnout.”

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“The kids got to be kids, again,” said Barbie Nehrt, who came to the Cross County Mall with her family on Sunday. “Halloween is definitely a big deal for them at this age. We went to the pumpkin patch, trunk-or-treats. We love to get out of the house in October.”

Cross County Mall Trick or Treat

An employee at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon hands out candy for a happy trick-or-treater.

Nehrt, among other parents, found that this was a good way to fulfill the trick-or-treating tradition without needing to bear the colder temperatures, which were expected to reach into the mid-40s by the end of the night.

Costume 1

Jade and Levi Johnson, 1, trick-or-treat at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon on Sunday afternoon.

“With it being so cold, I don’t know if we’re going to go trick-or-treating again (later),” said Jade Johnson, who came with 1-year-old Levi.

Among the other reasons several parents were weary of going trick-or-treating that night: It was a school night, said Nehrt.

Watch now: Charleston Moose Lodge serves up sweet tradition Saturday morning

Mall trick-or-treating is a fun experience for children as well as employees.

“It’s very fun because we don’t get trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood,” said Jen Spear from Monticello, who works at Maurices. “This year, they come to us, so it’s really fun to see all the kids come in their costumes.