Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I’m impressed with the way Wallingford throws down: big bands of kids in home made costumes going door to door, a sprinkling of haunted houses, and even a bit of reverse trick-or-treating. No wonder Wallingford regularly makes the list of Best Places to Trick-or-Treat.
So, how can we make it even better? There a lot of ideas bandied about last year both on-line and as I ran into people on the streets, and I’d like to offer Wallyhood’s assistance in making whatever people are interested in happen. Some ideas:
First, I’d be happy to assemble a map of haunted houses, day-glo houses, etc. (i.e., anyone doing anything more than handing out candy) and post it to the blog. That’s easy.
Second, in past years my son Zev and I have had a ton of fun going out and playing with the roving bands of trick-or-treaters. We quiz them, and then hand out prizes to the winner. We perform for them. We ask them to perform for us. I know others have done this, as well, and not only is it a ton of fun for all involved, it makes Halloween something more than just a house-to-house race for candy bars.
So, how do we encourage / support this kind of interactivity? Would it make sense to block off a street and designate it as a spot for people to set up performances or interactive stations? There could be a fortune teller, ongoing, informal costume contest, who knows what all?
One of my favorite “camps” from Burning Man was Flattery Camp: someone set up bleachers, and a bunch of people would sit there and just shout really nice, supportive things at passers by. What kid doesn’t want to hear a bunch of people tell them their costume is epic?
Third, there has generally been support for the notion of “adult beverage stations” or somesuch out there. This could be roving, or maybe on our imaginary blocked off street, but it can get chilly out there, and this just makes sense. Anyone else interested in roaming the streets offering parental sustenance? Maybe we could create a flag or identifying mark to help parents in need identify their aid station.
So, what do you all say? Like I said, at a minimum, I’d be happy to put together a map of the goings on. But I’d love to hear people’s ideas for what we can do to make Halloween even more awesome in Wallingford.
Finally: a small plea: if you’ve been thinking about giving out something besides the snack size candy bars that make up the bulk of Halloween booty, you have my support! There are a bunch of good reasons: food allergies are on the rise, most commercial brands of candy are full of nasties, the companies that make them are beastly, and if everyone gives away the same thing, it’s not as much fun!
Some alternatives you could think about:
- Make something like rice krispy treats (and label them with your house number or introduce yourself to the parents, to put them at ease)
- Give something fun but non-edible, like crayons, super balls, legos, bubbles, finger puppets or paper airplanes. See our Night of the Teal Pumpkin post from last year for ideas
- You can make a catapult with popsicle sticks. Give out the materials and instructions.
- Kale. OK, j/k.
Every year, I get beaten up for suggesting anything but candy. I’d prefer to avoid the beating this year: if you want to give out candy, please do so! But, like I said, if you’re thinking about something else, I’d love to hear about it.