Trick or Treat!

Halloween is serious business in my neighborhood, an area of closely packed houses built in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.  It’s where everyone—and I mean everyone—in Ithaca and the surrounding towns goes to trick-or-treat. The first year we lived here, we were nearly overwhelmed by the number of kids who rang our doorbell. The next year, my husband bought a clicker and we sat out on the front porch with our tub of candy. He counted each trick-or-treater who visited our house. And twice I had to head to the store to buy more candy.

Over the years, the number crept up . . . 476 . . . 504 . . . 553. Last year we had 605! This year, we’ve got 25 pounds of candy ready to give away, along with a separate bowl for vegan kids. (Ithaca, home of Moosewood Restaurant, has lots of vegans.) We’ll sit out on our front porch, talk with the neighbors, admire the kids’ costumes. (My favorites are the wide-eyed little ones who aren’t quite sure what’s going on.) My mother-in-law is coming to visit from Pittsburgh—for years we’ve told her about trick-or-treat night here, how it’s like a huge neighborhood party, and now she’ll get to see for herself. The forecast is for a chilly evening, so I’ll have quilts and hot cider ready to keep us warm on the porch.

I suppose we could buy a couple of pounds of candy, and then turn off the light and go inside when we run out. But Halloween here is too much fun for that.


About nancyholzner

6 responses to “Trick or Treat!

  • Brenda-Moonsanity

    We lived in the city (Grand Rapids, MI) for ten years and even though I love living in a rural area now, I really miss Halloween in the city. We had so many kids, and I loved the little ones too. We had a long porch on our old home, and it was so much fun to decorate. We don’t get any trick or treaters where we are now, but we have a bonfire for our teens and their friends, which is fun too.

    • nancyholzner

      Hi Brenda,

      I love being outside with a bonfire on a chilly evening. (Of course, I also love being inside by a fireplace with a glass of wine. 🙂 )

      Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, just because of its spirit of fun. I love the way people let go of everything for a day and become someone else.


  • Mindy

    I just moved here with 2 kids and I was wondering what neighborhood you are talking about? We have no idea where to go trick or treating..
    Happy Halloween,

    • nancyholzner

      Hi Mindy,

      Fall Creek–especially Utica, Tioga, and Aurora Streets between, say, Cascadilla Creek and East Falls Street. Do you know where Fall Creek Elementary School is? It’s that general area.

      If you see me, say hi. 🙂

      • Taylor

        I’m just wondering what the trick or treating hours are today?

      • nancyholzner

        Hi Taylor,

        I didn’t check the official hours this year. Usually the kids are out between 5 and 7. We start seeing them as early as 4:30, and some of the intrepid ones stay out until 9:00. It’s chilly this year, though, so maybe they’ll head inside sooner!

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