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Candy Chutes Could Save Halloween During The Coronavirus Pandemic

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Groups of children going door to door yelling trick or treat and adults leaning over to hand them candy - it is the spooky season, but it's also a COVID perfect storm. And so it looked like the pandemic was going to ruin Halloween this year, but not if resourceful families that we see posting online have any say in the matter.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: So this is our masterpiece for trick-or-treating.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Introducing the candy chute. It's at least six feet long and can deliver candy to trick-or-treaters through a tube or pipe. Yes, you can buy them off Amazon now, but what's the fun in that? You can make one, too.

NEAL AUGENSTEIN: Cost me eight bucks for kids' happiness. I figured, why not? I will go ahead and buy that PVC pipe.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's reporter Neal Augenstein of WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. He recently made one of his own. But first, he had to get the most vital ingredient - the candy.

AUGENSTEIN: So I had about 60 pieces of candy. So there were Almond Joys. There were Hershey bars. There were Kit Kats. And there were my favorites, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And so with his PVC pipe festively decorated and secured to the porch stair railing, Augenstein set out to test it with his daughter.

AUGENSTEIN: I started first with the thinnest of the candies, which was a little Hershey bar. I dropped it in there - whoosh, zoomed right down. But when we got to the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, it was too thick to slide down easily. I was very concerned that it would get caught halfway through. I decided to take all of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups out. And did I mention that those are my favorites of them?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Chris Minor of Ashland, Va., also got in on the candy chute action.

CHRIS MINOR: I had tested a lot of candies - the M&M's and the Sour Patch Kids, you know, all my favorites, you know, Snickers and Milky Ways and that kind of thing. And pretty much they all were great. But the good news is apples and oranges will not fit down the pipe, so you don't have to worry about my house being one of those ones where you're going to get, you know, fruit for Halloween. I used to hate those growing up.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Matt Thompson of Garden City, Mich., came up with a totally different candy delivery system...

(SOUNDBITE OF ZIP LINE)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...The candy zip line. A ghost shoots down the cable to the street, delivering not only pieces of candy to trick-or-treaters, but also two cans of Bud Light to their parents. Maybe the coronavirus won't scare Halloween away after all. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.