I have a confession to make: I’m not a big fan of Halloween.
Never have been. And likely never will be.
It’s not that I loathe Halloween, or begrudge those who make a big deal out of it. (Although I do take issue with anyone over the age of 13 who goes out for tricking or treating. Leave the candy for the little kids).
And I wasn’t celebrating when it was over for another year.
But I’ve never been able to get into Halloween. When I was a kid, I was probably the last person on the block to come up with my wish list for Halloween costumes. Some years, my parents had to select one for me.
(You know how kids get teased because “their mom dresses them funny?” Well, that extends to Halloween costumes, too).
I’m not noted for having a sweet tooth, so I never finished my Halloween candy each year. At least I had the good sense to know the Kerr’s Molasses Kisses were terrible.
I don’t see too well in the dark, so trick or treating was a challenge, but at least it was one I could overcome. (Haunted houses remain a challenge to this day).
I’m not a fan of the horror or slasher film genres, so Halloween movies that permeate our televisions in October aren’t for me.
Since I live in an apartment building, I don’t get any trick or treaters, so I don’t have to worry about setting out Halloween decorations or carving pumpkins. (I never found it enjoyable to dig innards from a pumpkin, either).
And now that I’m older, Halloween parties don’t do it for me. I didn’t have the desire to think of great Halloween costumes when I was 10; why would I come up with a great one now that I’m 40, since I don’t have as much time on my hands?
I recognize Halloween is important for a lot of people. I just don’t make a big deal of it. Don’t expect to see me post pictures of various Halloween costume ideas.
But I have noticed one trend in the city the last few years: the growing number of Halloween events. And I think it’s great.
Not that long ago, reporters in Estevan had limited options for Halloween photos. You could take pictures of kids out trick or treating. You could swing by the schools and photograph the kids in their costumes, or you might be able to take pictures at a Halloween event for the schools. Maybe there would be a haunted house somewhere (the Estevan Comprehensive School used to have a cool one each year), and the Estevan Shoppers Mall had their costume parade. That was about it.
The Estevan Art Gallery and Museum and the Estevan Chamber of Commerce introduced a Halloween event a few years ago. Kids brought their pumpkins in for judging, and there might be a costume contest, too. Lots of fun games and activities for the kids. The chamber isn’t part of the event any longer, but the EAGM does a great job of it each year.
The City of Estevan and the Southern Plains Co-op now have events, too. The city introduced Spooky Civic last year, and it was a hit. Sadly, it was the last marquee event to be held at the Civic Auditorium. Now that the Civic is gone, we have Velcome to Affinity, which offered lots of fun for kids at Affinity Place.
The Trail of Terror at the Southern Plains Co-op attracted big crowds in its second year, too. The Preddy Trail at the Woodlawn Regional Park has proved to be an ideal setting for the event, thanks to the trees and the dense bushes that surround the trail. It has established itself as a popular pre-Halloween event for families.
The Estevan Humane Society now has a Halloween event, too, with festivities at the animal shelter.
The one thing that doesn’t seem to be as popular any longer is trick or treating. Yes, you still have to keep an eye out for the kids walking from house to house on Oct. 31, looking for a piece of candy or two. But the numbers aren’t as great.
As stated previously, when you live in an apartment complex, you don’t get many kids dropping by. But when I have talked to friends and co-workers after Halloween, they usually mention the dwindling number of visitors on Oct. 31.
Is it because kids have other opportunities to wear their costumes and receive candy? Is it because they are busy with other things, and don’t have time to enjoy a tradition like treat-or-treating?
Or are there other factors at play?
It means there’s more candy to be split among co-workers in the days following Halloween, but as mentioned before, I’m not a noted candy eater, and besides, the candy only knocks me down when I should be alert and writing.
I’ll have a couple of pieces, and that’s it, but I’ll leave the Kerr’s Molasses Kisses for someone else.