Halloween may seem like a distant memory for some, having taken place a full week ago, but in my mind, there’s no expiration date on appreciation.
I love Halloween, always have. Now that I have three little children to enjoy the experience with, the costumed holiday has renewed importance, as we carefully choose costumes, beg Gramma for some sewing and plan our trick-or-treat strategy.
While I understand the malls put on a terrific program, I must confess to being enamoured with the Downtown Treat Trail.
To me, it is the quintessential small-town tradition. Closing the streets and letting the little ones run, regardless of the weather, and collect candies from all the community-minded businesses… It brings people together in a way that can never happen in a city. It’s also such a great place to check out the incredible creativity of costumes — this year some of my favorites were Keren Huyter and her family of four Hobbits, a jet fighter pilot, complete with cardboard plane, a three-headed dragon and a homemade Tyrannosaurus Rex that used copious amount of green burlap. (See the photo slideshow on our website.)
(Just an aside to teens: turning your hoodie backwards and calling it a costume is stretching it a little thin, don’t you think?)
So a big shout out to the participating merchants, especially those who went the extra mile creating elaborate displays. (I braved the Pawn Shop’s creation for the first time with my seven-year-old and was astounded at the hard work and effort they put into the spooky display.)
Special kudos also to the Shuswap Children’s Association, who instead of handing out candy, handed out books for every child — and these were top-quality books with a selection to appeal to all ages. What a great reminder that while we may spend a day or two feeding our bodies with less than healthy food, books are always excellent brain food.
I’ve been asked where the best places for neighbourhood trick-or-treating are in the area and, hands down, Canoe has the Halloween spirit. Not only do they do a community pumpkin-carving night leading up to the event, but the decorations (and the candy offerings) are tremendous. Sunnybrae also knows how to do it up, offering hot dogs and hot chocolate at the hall and putting on a fireworks display for the kids. As for neighbourhood streets, there are a few popular subdivisions, including sections of Hillcrest, Bayview (in between Okanagan Avenue and Auto Road) and the Little Mountain subdivision. These all saw large numbers of kids, and plenty of residents willing to spend a little to spread the Halloween spirit.
Now we move on to Remembrance Day. I wanted to make mention of the lovely poppy volunteer at Piccadilly Mall, who took special time to pin a poppy on my daughter and explain to her the meaning of the symbol. It was very touching.
So I have a small plea. While many places are already decking the halls, couldn’t we just put Christmas preparations on hold until after we honour our veterans this Sunday?