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App allows neighbors to mark what trick or treaters can expect at their house on Halloween

The neighborhood app Nextdoor has a "treat map" to take the guesswork out of what each house is doing for the haunting holiday.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — With Halloween on the horizon, families are making plans for how they will spend the holiday. With some neighborhoods still planning to trick or treat, an app is taking the guesswork out of which houses are taking part.

Nextdoor has its "treat map" live on the website and app, ready for families to mark what trick or treaters can expect at their houses this haunting holiday.

While this year is different from the past, many houses in Knoxville are still planning to give out candy in a unique way.

The Toney-McFay family is already prepping by making a candy chute on their front steps.

"We wanted the kids to have fun for Halloween," Kelly McFay said. "We didn't want to cancel it and you know kids need to have fun, especially right now, so we figured this would be the best way to social distance and let the kids trick or treat."

They are one of the many houses in the Oakwood-Lincoln Park neighborhood that's still handing out the treats.

Andrea Freeland's porch is prepared like a fall scene. She posted to the neighborhood Facebook group to start an address thread, letting neighbors know whose house is participating.

"Things are different and to keep up tradition, I wanted to, whether we were going out or not to trick or treat, I wanted to make sure that we handed out candy or did something to contribute to keep it up," Freeland said.

Some are choosing to leave the light on to let others know where the candy is, but there's also an app for that.

The neighborhood app Nextdoor takes the guesswork out of whether a house is participating in the holiday or not.

Families can mark what they are planning on doing for a socially distant alternative, whether that's a decorated yard display, painted pumpkins or a costume wave parade.

"Amid the pandemic the pandemic everything is unsure, but there's one thing for sure, and that's the good candy," Freeland laughed.

No matter which option families choose, kids will still get something sweet.

The CDC has recommendations for how to enjoy Halloween safely. Carving pumpkins is considered low risk, while traditional trick-or-treating is considered high risk.