Downtown neighborhood adopts nightly howl ritual to connect during pandemic

Photo: Julie Falk, C.C. 2.0

If COVID-19 has you feeling like screaming into a void, here’s a slightly more social and possibly equally therapeutic solution. Howl with your neighbors.

Locals in the Washington-Willow Historic District neighborhood have instituted a nightly howl each evening at 8 p.m. for the past week or so, as a way to bond with others in a time when social connection is difficult to come by.

The idea was proposed last week by local resident Heather Gray in the neighborhood’s list serve.

From Gray’s email:

My people- it’s time to start engaging in rituals to remind one another that we are still here. Let’s follow the example of the wolves and employ the howl. I welcome you to join our family outside each night at 8 p.m. I think it could bring some joy to our lives and give our kids a new bed time ritual they will never forget.

Since then, the nightly howl has caught on in other parts of the city, with howls heard as far north as North Street, over to Mission Boulevard, and as far south as Spring Street.

Our friend Katie Mihalevich, who shared this info with us, said her neighbors hope the ritual spreads to the entire city.

“It is a great way to release pent-up energy and have a laugh,” she said. “(We) would love to hear the 8 p.m. wolf howl stretch beyond our borders, across Fayetteville.”