When we moved here earlier this year, one of the first things we were told was to be prepared for Halloween. “The street goes all out” people said. “It’s crazy, there are kids everywhere” they said. “Be prepared, there are hundreds and hundreds of kids”.
The second was about a dead body that was found up the other end of the street a couple of years ago, and then ensuing police investigation.
The two events are totally unrelated, but in retelling of the folklore of our street, it seems they are equally important for us to know and often get jumbled in together whenever we chat with our new neighbours.
Not surprisingly, once we understood they were in no way linked together, I was more keen to get involved with the former, and just pretend no-one told me about the latter.
So, this week we decorated. When I am told to decorate, I tend to go all out. Proof of this can be found here, and here. It’s kinda my thing. Having never done anything Halloween related before, it was a new challenge, but one I think we met well!
However – nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of children. I thought we had over catered with over 400 individual lollies, and while I know some kids got more than one, we were still all out in just over an hour.
At a safe estimate, I would comfortably say we had 300 kids through the street last night. Three hundred.
It was simply crazy.
So… I have put together some tips on how we will do Halloween better next year:
- Next year, we will do more to prepare Poss.
- We told her it would be big, and there would be lots of people – however we didn’t really go into the fact they would be coming into our yard, into her space, which threw her a bit.
- Nor did we explain the importance of sticking with us during trick or treating. I still forget she is a runner. And when there are 300 kids, plus parents all roaming the street, most in some sort of costume, made it very difficult to contend with. A wrist band with her details on it is not a stupid idea.
- Normally shouting out, “stay with the zombie bride” would mean something significant. Last night, it was just confusing.
- Walking around with a plastic glass of champagne is not only classy, but necessary.
- Get in early. We needed to be more organised, have people get here early – before the 5pm official start time, and begin the trick or treating straight away. Instead, we waited for a bit and handed out lollies at home, and by the time the kids left it was not only *crazy* on the street, a lot of houses had already run out of lollies.
- Feed the small children even early. Before the onslaught of lollies. Once they have a handful of lollies, a sausage in bread is just not a contender.
- Be prepared for lots of rude kids, who don’t say thank you and will push other, smaller kids out of the way to get the lollies. Don’t give those kids any of the good stash.
- You can never over cater for lollies. More is better. Even more is best.
- Finally, enjoy it. It’s so rare these days to find such an amazing community spirit, with so many people in the street, laughing and playing. Yep, it’s commercialised, yep, it’s not an Australian tradition – but god, it was fun!