How do you do Halloween? Are you old-school, where you find a neighborhood and let the kids roam free like you did? When I first became a parent, I had visions of dressing the kids up as cute little superheroes, walking door-to-door and communing with neighbors over the spooky fun all the kids were having. And I would be wrong about that one. What we found was a dark street, where every fourth or fifth house had a porch light on signaling the “okay” to trick-or-treat. And, as the years progressed it turned into every ninth or tenth house willing to participate in the ghoulish fun.
I get the hesitation on everyone’s part to allow kids the freedom to run up to a stranger’s house and beg for candy. It goes against every “stranger-danger” conversation you’ve had with your brood. And every homeowner accepts some sort of responsibility by allowing all these people on their lawns, driveways, doorways. Even though it’s understandable, “Halloween” as I know it is a lost tradition and it makes me a little sad.
Of course, my kids did not want to miss out on a holiday dedicated to candy so we opted for a local trunk-or-treat celebration that satisfied their need to trick-or-treat, gave us the opportunity to have hayrides and hear live music all in one place. Still, I missed the old Halloween days to be sure. These past couple of years, we have settled on a neighborhood who mostly participates in the candy offering so we walk around in the hot Florida sun for as long as we can and call it a night. Truth be told, I’ve probably made them a couple of mummyesque hotdogs with the help of some crescent rolls, and maybe there is a spider shaped cookie awaiting them when they get home. And that is how we do Halloween in my household.
According to Zack’s Investment Research consumers are expected to spend nearly $9 billion this year on Halloween candy alone. That is a staggering figure considering most parents I know do not hand out candy or even purchase if for the home. I guess these cluster-neighborhoods are picking up the slack for the rest of us. According to Reader’s Digest the most popular Halloween candy in Florida is Snickers which I find odd since they almost always melt before kids get home. (Well, almost. I have been known to snag a Snickers or too out of the Halloween bucket while they sleep.) I guess my heart belongs with my home state of Michigan, where candy corn is the most favored Halloween treat. Just the sight of that bright triangle full of happy colors makes me say “treat” please, no tricks for me.
So, how will you be spending time with your costumed creatures this coming October 31st? There are numerous neighborhoods in the area, whose HOA’s have preapproved trick-or-treating so if you are doing that have a great time! Please remember that many of these neighborhoods also allow traffic to intermingle with the crowds so be careful. Below you will find a couple of tried and true Sarasota traditions for your Halloweening pleasure. Spooks and Shivers from The Sarasota Post!
Siesta Key: For 34 years locals have enjoyed bringing their families to this celebration. Having grown over the years to include a trolley which provides passengers with plenty of trick-or-treat stops between Siesta Key Village and Turtle Beach. Look for the signature balloons to see which merchants/homeowners are participating. Event runs from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on October 31. Plenty of photo-opportunities if you stay for sunset and get a ghoulish photo on the beach.
St. Armand’s: Experience Fright Night on Sarasota’s famous circle, where even the statues will adorn costumes for your booish pleasure. Live characters, haunted storefronts, and of course, world-famous retailers and restaurants will be prepared for your hallowed memories. A 10-year time-honored tradition, the height of the event will be when Sarasota High School Drama Department performs “Thriller” at 8:00 P.M. The event runs from 6:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. on Halloween night.
Photos courtesy of depositphotos.