Update on November 8: Mtn. Home Mayor Rich Sykes sent the following response to questions over his Halloween costume:
Thank you for reaching out and inquiring about Spooktacular and my costume. This event has become a long-time tradition for our Parks and Recreation Department. After last year’s drive-thru event, we were all ready to get back together and have a somewhat normal Halloween celebration. I could not thank everyone enough for their support of this event, and I think our Parks and Recreation staff knocked it out of the park. It was an extremely successful event with enjoyment all around. I am very proud of all the city staff that had a hand in making the event so successful.When it came to choosing a costume theme for myself and city hall, it was decided that it was time to have some fun again. After two years of this horrible virus, I thought making light of the situation would bring joy and humor to the citizens, but also keep them aware that this virus is still among us. It was not meant to be malicious or have any ill-intent.Unfortunately, “cancel culture” is becoming increasingly popular in today’s world. This group likes to bully and censor many individuals into silence. The people that reached out are quite possibly the same ones that take offense that I pack my gun on my hip every day. This group finds it offensive that I love my conservative values, and I believe in God and country first. It breaks my heart that our citizens, children, and our children’s children are having to deal with these bullies as well. This group will not bully me into silence over a costume. I do not believe that I should be bullied and canceled over my costume choice. Just as I believe in the second amendment right, and that every American has the right to their choice on what they wear.We took Spooktacular downtown to have plenty of room for citizens to social distance if they choose to. COVID-19 is still very much a problem in our country and especially in our community. I have fought the Covid-19 battle myself and we have lost some city family members to this horrible virus. I also believe that everyone has the right to choose what is best for their family when it comes to the vaccine. I do not believe in mandates or the government making those decisions for our citizens or for me for that matter.Again, thank you for reaching to get the other side of the story. COVID-19 is still very much a problem in our country and community and my personal costume choice was not made with ill-intent, but to bring a little humor, joy, and awareness to the citizens of Mountain Home. I thank you once more and have a phenomenal day.
Original article below.
Idaho is still under a “Crisis Standard of Care,” according to the official Idaho coronavirus website run by the state of Idaho.
New Coronavirus cases are decreasing at this time. However, according to the state’s Coronavirus website, new deaths are occurring each day.
With the Coronavirus still a concern for citizens, Mayor Rich Sykes’s costume choice of dressing as the Coronavirus for a Halloween event has drawn some criticism.
In a video posted on the City of Mountain Home’s Facebook Page, Sykes announces that he is dressed as the Coronavirus. Sykes also shows the city clerk, who appears to be dressed as a healthcare worker.
Here is a portion of the video:
Later in the video, Sykes and three other individuals dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Sykes can be heard saying again that he is the Coronavirus and that the other three individuals are trying to get rid of the Coronavirus, presumably as nurses.
One commenter on the video, Alex Thompson, criticized Sykes for the costume. Here is what Thompson said on Facebook,
I find your choice of costume in very poor taste. So many people have lost loved ones to the coronavirus. It was very hurtful to see someone disrespecting the so many lost.
Another commenter, James McAlpin, said the following on the same post,
Great time last night however, MR MAYOR your choice of Costume was in Very Poor Taste, your choice was disrespectful to the Families that lost a loved one to COVID-19.
Idaho Dispatch also received other messages on Facebook regarding the costume. The individuals who sent us the video did not wish to comment at this time but felt the costume was in “poor taste.”
Not everyone on the page agreed that the costume was in poor taste. Most of the commenters said they enjoyed the event, and one person said they liked the costumes, although it is unclear which ones they are referencing.
Idaho Dispatch reached out to Sykes to see if he had a response to those unhappy with his costume choice for Halloween. We have not received an answer at this time.
What do you think about the costume? Is it in poor taste or not?
Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: Coronavirus, Halloween, Mountain Home, Rich Sykes