Creativity by members of the community has proven to be stunning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking for ways to accomplish what we normally do has driven many to think outside the box in a way that has allowed the community to continue with life somewhat normally — at least in a way that attempts to stay safe — which is a huge accomplishment.

As we enter the holiday season, though, challenges are even more difficult to overcome.

We all want to continue with the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families. We want the same menus and gift exchanges. We want to do what have become traditions.

But this year, we have to accept some changes for our own health and the health of our community.

A compromise was reached in Kenova this year where the C-K AutumnFest and The Pumpkin House are concerned.

While many will miss the festival, which was canceled because of the pandemic, we can thank Ric Griffith, father of The Pumpkin House, for doing his part to think outside the box.

Instead of decorating his house with thousands of jack-o-lanterns, this year he asked members of the community to take one of the pumpkins he will acquire, decorate it and set it outside this weekend in hopes of drawing visitors for a driving tour through the community.

The little twin cities benefit from the festival and The Pumpkin House every year in terms of income: Many businesses there report their highest profit days during the festival. Griffith has made every effort to maintain the towns’ tradition and keep money flowing into the communities.

Plus, his efforts aim to provide unique entertainment — even joy — to children and adults willing to drive across the bridge or across the state.

Thank you, Ric Griffith, for the Halloween joy you share every year. Thank you for finding a way to keep it going through the pandemic, all the while doing your part to encourage us to follow safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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