Irene Nelson: Expand Halloween
November 5, 2008
From my vantage point of being a corpse in the window of the White Hart Gallery, I had a hard time figuring out who was having more fun on Lincoln Avenue on Halloween – the kids or the grownups. There is a certain magic to assuming the role of princess, monster, alien, coffee cup or even Sarah Palin. Everyone has a great time, and it brings the whole town together. It seems to me that it is an event that is truly a signature event for the town – focused on family and fun. It is just a little bit sad when the merchants start running out of candy, and all of the little bunnies and bears start heading back to their dens. And the adults take refuge in one of Steamboat’s hospitable pubs. Could we continue the fun on the street a little longer for the teens and adults?
I was visualizing how great it would have been had I gotten it together and brought my huge cauldron downtown and gotten a witches coven together to dance around it in the middle of the street (a group of Steamboat Dancers would have been even better). I could see the African drumming group in costume doing something fabulous down the street a bit. The marching band might come up with a Halloween drill. I could see the theater group coming up with something amazing. I could see a group of the college and high school kids, too.
I wondered if we really got it together, if it wouldn’t be a great off-season event for the locals that might even draw people from out of town. We have such a vast reservoir of talent here in town, and they all love a party!
One kind of “contrary to Steamboat’s ethic” is the fact that we are filling up our kids with sugar. And you wonder if some of the restaurants could be allowed to sell something a little more wholesome. Tacos from the Cantina or Azteca, some skewered meatballs from Cuginos, chicken lips from Double Z. The restaurants that are right on the main part of Lincoln are almost too busy that night, so it might be easier for some of the outlying restaurants to participate. I can’t help but think Margie Yowell should be a big bunny with her endless supply of delicious carrots. And maybe the lodging community could help subsidize the treats that are distributed. I know the merchants spend many hundreds of dollars each every year passing out treats.
Also appreciated would be some help from the parents, schools and kids regarding “trick or treat” manners. Luckily we seem to have gotten past the more difficult aspects of the “tricks” part of it as I see very little destructive behavior. But one has to wonder about kids that feel entitled to come around three or four times for expensive treats from the more generous merchants. Or the parents with infants in swaddling clothes filling up huge bags. Something perhaps for the city, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs and the citizens to think about before next fall.
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