Two out of the last three years we've gotten 69-70 trick-or-treaters - this year we got 85 (and that was with shutting down a little early (7:40-ish) to go grab some dinner). There were still a couple of small groups out - we really should have waited until 8. There were lots of teenagers this year, which I don't have a problem with as long as they're in costume (as they all were). The decorations got high marks - the fog machine was a big hit, the little girls liked the purple and orange lights and the sound-activated spider dropping down from the skull-and-crossbones banner towards the waiting parents' heads was a success. There was a pretty good group of parental costumes - the best by far being the guy dressed as the Man in the Yellow Hat with his 3 year old dressed as Curious George (wonder who's idea THAT was?).
Early reports are that things went okay downtown but the ugly stuff usually doesn't come to light until later on the 1st - keeping my fingers crossed that everything was peaceful.
I usually do a CD to play out the window during trick-or-treating - here's this year's version. Probably half of it is from the Rhino New Wave Halloween comp and the rest is from various other sources (we've got almost as many Halloween CDs now as we do Christmas - and we've got more Christmas CDs than anyone else I know).
All Hallow's Eve
This year it was my turn to do the decorations and I went for "scare the shit out of the kids". Finally bought a smoke machine (I know, I'm the last one of my group...) and picked up a bunch of stuff from Target (they had a good selection of Halloween crap this year) including some heavy-duty headstones and gargoyles. Between the strobe light (going with the green filter - blue looks like a cop car and red just looks like a brothel) and smoke machine, lighted skeletons, a spider that drops towards your head at the bottom of the steps and the rest of the little surprises, I figure I'll pick up more candy from the yard that the kids drop while running away screaming than I'll give out.
Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill had a brilliant idea this year - while many downtown restaurants are closing for the night rather than face the onslaught of 80,000 revelers (with the good weather this year, I'm expecting a record), Top of the Hill auctioned off the three prefered tables along the rail on their patio safely above Franklin Street. Brilliant! Didn't check until tonight, so I don't know what they actually went for, but what a great idea!
I don't do the big downtown thing except for NCAA basketball championships (I won't miss one of THOSE). Many years ago JennySlash and I decided that we would do the Georgetown Halloween party back when that was the place to be but as we got near you could hear (and feel) the vibe and it wasn't pleasant. I suspect Chapel Hill hasn't reached that point yet but when you get that many people in from out of town with the sole purpose of "partying", bad things can happen. So we hand out candy (2 out of the last 3 years we've gotten around 70 kids at the house) and then head over to Margaret's Cantina for dinner (they'll be disappointed this year that we're not in costume, but we haven't had time to put anything together).
Next year I may try to make it down to my sister's place - she does Halloween right! I was at one of their parties a dozen or so years ago and it was a blast - sort of Chapel Hill downtown in microcosm. Where other middle-aged women (hard to think of my kid sister as middle-aged, but it's true) spend months decorating for Christmas, Donna does that for Halloween, including her little Halloween villages. She rocks! They will be having a hella party - maybe next year.
Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!