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Sievers family prepares for COVID-19 Halloween

Due to COVID-19, trick-or-treating may be a little different this year. But the Sievers family has prepared for an outdoor Halloween that will bring some of the spooky magic of the holiday in a safe manner.

Boyd and Leslie Sievers, along with their children, have decorated their front yard with monsters, an outdoor movie theater and a candy chute that will make this year’s Halloween one they won’t forget.

“There’s a lot of kids on this block, and we wanted to do something for our kids,” Boyd Sievers said. “It’s almost like a month-long Halloween for us, just because everyone in the family likes it.”

Last year, Boyd dressed up as a killer clown and drove a Halloween-decorated bus around town including the Veterans Home. However with the COVID-19 pandemic still underway, the family had to come up with new plans for the holiday.

Boyd said this year’s ideas and planning mostly came from his wife Leslie, but the construction of the candy chute and movie screen were primarily done by him. Their 12-year-old son Zane and 6-year-old daughter Amelia helped with decorations.

“It’s been a family venture,” Boyd said. “There’s a part of the whole family here, and that’s what is kind of neat about it.”

The candy chute even includes the recycled costume from their eldest son Christian, who no longer lives with them. Christian’s old Ghost-face costume was used to decorate the chute, with the candy flowing through the Scream character’s mask before dropping in the children’s candy buckets.

The chute was made of recycled fence posts and a six-foot pipe at an angle to let gravity help the candy travel down the pipe. Boyd said the pipe was made so both Zane and Amelia could reach the top of the chute and help give away candy.

Boyd also built a 10-foot movie screen that they will use on Halloween to show spooky movies. They bought the rear projector and white screen online, but Boyd built the frame, using scrap wood from his business, Associated Sheet Metal.

“I made the stand so heavy that I had to put wheels on it,” Boyd said of the movie screen. “It’s not going to stay out all the time. It’s just for events, and I’ll take it back to the shop.”

Boyd said they plan on showing the Goosebumps movies on Halloween and have invited their neighbors to join them. “We gave an open invite to the neighbor kids,” he said, adding that they are expecting a few nearby friends to join them.

He said the kids will sit on pillows on the grass and their firepit will be brought over to keep everyone warm. Boyd said they have already gotten Jiffy Pop popcorn and marshmallows for the night.

The house also includes a werewolf made with Zane’s old costume, spider webs cut by Amelia and a spooky fortune-teller and stand decorated by Leslie.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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