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Will We Miss Halloween for the Second Year in a Row?

If the predictions hold true and we lose tree limbs and power after Hurricane Sandy, we could be looking at another year without trick-or-treating.

It was almost unthinkable. The kids had their costumes and the families were stocked with candy. The lawns and the houses were decorated with ghosts, gravestones, skeletons and fake spider webs. And yet, we had no Halloween.

Towns across northern and central Connecticut became ghostly in a literal way two days after a rare snowstorm pummeled the East Coast on Oct. 29, sending giant tree limbs and whole trees crashing to the ground, pulling the webs of power lines with them.

On Halloween Day, when the only power came via generators or in small pockets of commercial business, it was just too dangerous to have small children wandering around in the pitch dark, stepping over wires and branches. In many towns, officials recommended a postponement of trick-or-treating, and in some of those towns, it simply never happened as the power outages went on and on.

Canceling Halloween seems like the plot to a tired old Claymation special. Every other holiday happens no matter what, but Halloween is so intertwined with trick-or-treaing, which more or less has to take place outside if you want more than a few pieces of bubblegum in your pillowcase.

In our neighborhood, the trick-or-treating begins around 6 p.m., when the toddlers and their parents ring doorbells and gather up a few treats before it gets dark.

As the night goes on, the trick-or-treaters get taller and more bold. Their costume ingenuity seems to peak at about 8 or 10 years old, and then it grows progressively more simple, until you get the older teenagers with smudges around their eyes who just can't give up the idea that you'll get free candy just for ringing a doorbell.

For the most part, they are all polite, yet almost giddy as they run around on a cool fall night as Spiderman or Cinderella or Harry Potter with his Nimbus 2000. Halloween is the stuff of childhood — when the reins loosen just enough to thin the veil between reality and magic.

Yet here we are, almost incredibly, facing another powerful storm that could down trees and power lines just before Halloween. Could we airdrop the candy instead? Let the children gather in a safe, dry place in their costumes and put the candy behind fake doors?

Those years go by so fast, and there aren't enough opportunities for children to get close to the magic any more. I'd rather not think about how "Frankenstorm" would behave, but Sandy sounds like a mom's name, so let's hope she understands that kids need Halloween. Let's hope she doesn't want them to miss it again.

Silverman October 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM
How about opening up West Farms mall on Wednesday night for trick-or-treating?
Loren Gelber October 27, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Does it really matter!
Calvin Bensch October 27, 2012 at 11:00 PM
If my memory serves me correctly, I was handing out candy on the "new" Halloween of November 11th last year...and I felt it was wonderfully kind for our town board to give our kids a chance to enjoy "their" holiday! They should consider the same this year. If they don't our South-end neighborhood has already elected to hold a delayed Halloween no matter what.
Lesley October 27, 2012 at 11:36 PM
We know the storm is coming. Why didn't someone "in charge" just declare that Trick or Treating will be the Saturday before Halloween? It seems like a "no brainer" to have Trick or Treating on the weekend anyway.
Sharon Thomason October 28, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Can't we plan a town-wide Halloween Sunday night, before the storm hits? I think it is an important ritual for kids, for parents, and for the community. I love greeting the kids in their costumes!
Canton Resident 1993 October 28, 2012 at 02:52 PM
When we were kids we went out trick or treating whether it was dry or wet, raining, misting, windy, whatever. Halloween is October 31st-for some, it is a REAL holiday, sacred in fact. The storm should be gone by Wednesday and here in the northeast we are not supposed to get the damaging bulk of the severe winds and rains that our neighbors on the shoreline are. Prepare and have a backup plan...how about having a raindate for trick or treaters for Saturday, November 3rd? Or, alternatively, perhaps the Canton HS could be open for kids to trick or treat on Wednesday night, or the Canton library and rec center. We have options other than cancelling the fun!
Anne October 28, 2012 at 04:26 PM
My daughter and her friends came up with a plan last year. They call it Trunk or treat. The people in their town all got together, drove their cars to the middle school parking lot and the kids went 'trunk to trunk' in costume trick or treating. They set it up by phone chain and the kids had a ball and Halloween was saved for them!! Some people even decorated their vehicles!!! GREAT
Canton Resident 1993 October 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Great idea, Anne!!!
Susan Schoenberger (Editor) October 28, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Love that "Trunk or Treat" idea. It's just tough to plan a date for any of these things until we know what the power situation will be.
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