Liam McCully becomes a zombie for his night on the town in search of empty calories and hot chocolate.

Liam McCully becomes a zombie for his night on the town in search of empty calories and hot chocolate.

Halloween festival is no trick but a real treat

The Vanderhoof Halloween Pumpkin Walk is perfect for small towns to bring their communities together.

It was great to see the kids carving pumpkins when I visited Mapes Elementary on Wednesday, they even put on a play beforehand, a rhyming rendition of trick or treaters on Halloween night. Just the smell of spilled pumpkin guts takes me back to every halloween. Before I thought I was too old to carve pumpkins with my mom anymore.

I remember my nephew couldn’t even be in the same room as a pumpkin getting carved up. The sight of that mushy orange stew mixed with the wet vegetable scent put him and his stomach right over the edge.

Then I saw the Halloween dances at Mapes and of course the great Vanderhoof pumpkin walk of which I have heard so much about. I’ve heard that it effectively ended vandalism during that most chaotic of nights. I have also heard that it replaced trick or treating with a stroll in the park. I was skeptical.

But I was blown away by the amount of people who, instead of trying to hit the affluent neighbourhoods or the houses with the whole chocolate bars, decided to go to the park and tour the great Halloween exhibits.

There was a ton of stuff to see and the costumes were so varied. I saw a lot of superheroes as well as a lot of tykes dressed like furry little monsters.

And to cap it all off a great fireworks show. This was probably one of the warmest Halloweens I’ve been to, mostly because of the dozen or so fires set up to warm trick or treaters.

This is an idea that similarly sized towns all over should think of putting into practice. I know my hometown would be perfect, they could hold their own pumpkin walk or similar festivity and prevent at least some of the terrible vandalism and more horrible crimes.

Every town should at least hold a gathering of candy and hot chocolate and bonfires. Those are the basic essentials that everyone needs as winter approaches: warmth and sugar.