Monday, October 31, 2016

Another Halloween

Halloweenfest is one of our town's biggest street festivals.  Vendors line the closed streets offering all sorts of craft items and foods.  The stores are all decorated.  Music fills the air.  And the laughter of the children is heard everywhere.  It is such a fun time.

Our little town has many hills and there are three streets that are the best for trick or treating. The streets run parallel to one another and have lots of houses in a concentrated area.  Because so many children trick or treat on these three streets, the whole town helps out.  Various stores have boxes for donations of treats or money to purchase them.  These are distributed to the folks living on these three streets and in some cases people volunteer to assist giving out candy if needed.  Most of the children limit their trick-or-treating to this area.  Safe for the kids.  Easy for the parents.  And community participation.  What a great little town.

I'm sure that one reason we celebrate Halloween with such vigor is that our county is Transylvania.  Many cars have stickers of bat silhouettes and proclaim, "Transylvania County.  Bite Me!"

There are so many things for the children to do at Halloweenfest.  The usual face painting, cookie decorating, tractor rides, bouncy houses, etc.  But my favorite by far is the Great Pumpkin Roll.

The event is called the Great Pumpkin Roll
But almost everyone in town calls it the punkin' roll.

Local farmers donate the roundest pumpkins for the roll.
The pumpkins vary in sizes encouraging speculation as to which is better, the small ones or the larger ones.
Everyone has a "scientific" reason one is better than the other.

 This is the top of Jailhouse Hill
(Yes, the hill that no longer has the jail.)
There are bales of hay at the bottom where the street is barricaded.
No, there has never been a pumpkin making it to the bottom of the hill.

 The kids line up and lots of folks cheer them on.
Wave after wave of children participate in the pumpkin roll.

 I especially love watching the children gesture and shouting encouragement to their pumpkins.

When I was a child, we went trick-or-treating at night and on Halloween night.  Most communities now have designated hours the weekend before.  In the daylight.  I know that is how it must be but I'm sorry that children no longer have the scary fun of going out in the dark.

We also had large Halloween Carnivals at school.  I'm not sure if they do that anymore, but I still remember those peeled grape eyeballs, spaghetti brains, and the fortune teller who looked remarkably like my friend's mother.  What a fun time.  Thank goodness our little town still celebrates Halloween.

So today is actually Halloween.  And we are in the 70s here in the mountains.  We may set another record for high temperature this last day of October.  And the heat is expected to continue all week.  Seriously?


Tara said...

Looks like fun! There are some very good things going on in small towns.

We have a 5k run in town, and a festival. Of course, we also have a large college populations, which makes for some mischief come nightfall. We will just set our garbage cans out as usual, shut the outside lights and gate, and watch a movie on Netflix.

Anonymous said...

It's always nice to see the whole town get into Halloween like this. We do get kids here, and are expecting little knocks on the door any moment. They won't be out too late here, probably before it gets fully dark it will be over. Not like when I was a kid, but pretty close. Sure hope your weather gets cooler and more seasonable soon.

Ms. A said...

Hoping for some 70s here soon. We're ready!

Barbara Rogers said...

Our little town does a parade of pets in costumes (the Saturday before Halloween). Of course there are kids in it as well, and a prize for a owner-pet costume combo. Loved hearing about Brevard's festivities!

Nance said...

Circleville, Ohio, has a big pumpkin festival and another community, Chagrin Falls, has an unsanctioned late night Pumpkin Roll and slide down a huge hill that ends up on YouTube (of course) and the Cleveland news stations. I don't remember Halloween being such a huge deal when I was a kid as it is now that I am an adult.

We're headed into the upper 70s today and tomorrow. If this is November, sign me up.

(We all know better; let's enjoy it while it lasts!)

Arkansas Patti said...

Your town really has planned safe and fun events for the kids. Kudos to them.
I have lived w-a-y out in the country for 20 years and can't remember the last trick or treater I have seen. Kind of miss it.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I recall having Halloween parties at school and being able to dress up. I loved Halloween so much....mostly because I had a terrible sweet tooth and this was a good excuse to get my sugar on! Your festival and the community that hosts the trick or treaters is just wonderful; what great memories for those kids!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Looks like your town has plenty of good ways for children and families to celebrate rather than just going trick or treating. The small VA town we lived in did not have any similar events. Now, we live in a city and there have been some organized events at the local parks.

Vicki Lane said...

My childhood memories are much like yours. Oh, the joy of running through the night and the sometimes quite wonderful homemade treats some houses offered -- popcorn ball, caramel apples, tiny hamburgers. Candy was nice but the homemade treats were memorable.

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh what a fun time that Pumpkin roll must be!
Thanks for all the lovely photo's.

Happy November

All the best Jan

Far Side of Fifty said...

What a wonderful tradition! Fun and safe for all the children! Years ago when people were putting razors in apples and doing nasty stuff we had a Carnival at the school with games and lunch and even a cake walk. I think the lesson is don't take your kids where the people are not friends or relatives:)

The Bug said...

My mother loved Halloween, but we didn't live in a "neighborhood" so she would drive us around to people that we knew. One year we had a haunted house at our house. I was sick on the day & couldn't participate, but it was so much fun to help set up! I have a great picture of my mother dressed up for it. Hilarious.

Mike loves to pass out candy on Halloween. He usually dresses up as a pirate :)

KB said...

What a fun town event for Halloween! It seems like you have a delightful little town with lots of fun traditions.

I was also amazed that you managed to get through the post with no mentions of the unmentionable. I'm getting very scared.

troutbirder said...

What fun! There is nothing quite like small town America...:)

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Tara - Our 5K is the Vampire Run

Robin - We have no kids at all. Our neighbors used to bring their three grandsons, but they have grown out of trick-or-treat. The boys call me the "candy lady" because I gave each of them a full bag of candy since they had so few houses to visit.

Ms. A - wish I could send our warm weather to you

Barbara - We also have a pet costume parade. I love them.

Nance - Halloween was a really big deal where I grew up. In those days we could actually go inside houses and warm up with hot chocolate. Back then it was safe to eat homemade goodies from neighbors. And we were free to roam without adult supervision.

Patti - We have none either.

Suz - Me too. I remember every Halloween night my mother's last words "Don't eat any candy after you brush your teeth." And every Halloween night I went to bed with candy in my mouth.

Beatrice - I like having things in the parks for the kids.

Vicki - same here. Several neighbors went all out, welcoming us inside to take pictures and giving us hot cider and popcorn. Too bad those days are gone. They were fun indeed.

Jan - Thanks

Far Side - I remember cake walks. Wonder if anyone still has them?

Bug - Haunted houses have gotten out of hand now. I love the ones in houses like you mention.

KB - I"m very afraid as well. There is a new ad here (approved by Trump) that shows awful photos of Hillary and Anthony Weiner. The ad says the FBI is investigating Hillary again. This time her classified government emails were found on the sexual pervert Anthony Weiner's laptop. Not even close to the truth.

Troutbirder - Yes, small town America is like nothing else.