The evening of Halloween looks a lot like Christmas morning at our house. Chaotic energy, excitement and an ample supply of sugar. It’s been talked about for weeks between siblings and friends. And it comes and goes just as quickly.
When I was much younger, Halloween was just as special. We lived a few miles out of town so we’d often stop by along the way to those neighbors’ homes that were more like extended family. They’d compliment our costumes, give us treats and maybe even snap a picture or two on their 35mm camera.
Once in town, my mom would park our car as close to the corner of town as possible. We’d meet up with another family so that the parents could visit while we ran ahead. There was always a game plan and it often led us from the west end of town to the east. We knew which homes had the best treats and which homes to avoid. By the time I outgrew trick-or-treating, I could walk that route in my sleep.
Petersburg is smaller than my hometown, but they seem to come home with just as many treats. The reason being that, like most holidays or celebrations we host in this town, the community goes all out. Adults get just as excited as the children. What we lack in homes, we make up for in business support. Before living here, I had never heard of a community offering a downtown trick-or-treating event. The first year we brought our children to it, they came home with so many treats that we only went to three or four homes on our street later that night. They’re old enough to know better these days but our candy bowl stays full well through Easter. In fact, we started an annual candy bowl cleanout to try and control how much they have.
I’ve heard stories about Halloween in Petersburg from years ago. I won’t go into detail but many of them are hard to believe. Yet knowing some of the people around here, shenanigans seem to come with the territory — so I have no doubt that at least half of the stories I’ve heard are true. It doesn’t matter if you like Halloween or not; Petersburg has chosen to make it an opportunity to bring the community together.
Adding to the season was last week’s Punkin’ Chuckin’. Once again, adults get as much out of the event as our children, and like most events here, it creates quality time with family in friends. Some day our children will realize that it doesn’t take long city streets or expensive pumpkin patches to enrich our lives. Much more thanmemories, these are experiences that will shape their involvement in the community and influence how they raise their own children.