Halloween. Dia de Los Muertos. It’s not so much that I’m madly in love with the holiday, although I do think it’s crazy fun. I am, in fact, madly in love with all things fall. The trees are bursting with color and mother nature is gearing up for winter as we near the end of October.
I love this time of year like no other. The air is cool and crisp, the humidity of summer heat has disappeared and the bugs have returned to the hell from which they were spawned. I can breathe again. Halloween falls right into the mix of all things fall.
Each year when October draws to a close, I inevitably think back to our lives as innkeepers in Ashland, OR. I pull up the following post, which was originally published way back in 2013 and I lose myself in the memories for just a few minutes. It’s an oldie, but a goodie, and well-worth publishing yet again. However, like so many other things in this time of pandemic, Covid-19, Halloween has been the topic of many conversations with regard to the safety of children and adults alike.
Halloween & Covid-19
We live in an Norman Rockwell neighborhood with a very active email grape vine. There has been much discussion among neighbors as to the best course of action for trick-or-treaters. Last year (2020) some parents were advocating the neighborhood adhere to county recommendations, some supported cancelling altogether, while others suggested block parties only, costume parades, etc., all in lieu of the age old tradition of trick-or-treating. In the end, it was decided a general consensus was not going to happen and everyone would celebrate, or not, in a way in which they deemed appropriate.
The year before (2019) we had at least 150+ kids and adults come to our door. This year, we’re looking forward to handing out candy and oohhing and aahhing over costumes, from a distance. I’m thinking face masks will be highly creative this year. We’ll be setting up a table on our front steps, candy will be spread out across the table, (not just clustered in a bowl) and we’ll keep our distance as we ask the kids to help themselves.
So, with all of that being said, and without further adieu, here is our Halloween post from 2013.
In 2013 we were living in Ashland, Oregon where we owned a B&B. (Open the link to find a yummy cookie recipe) Ashland is home of the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. That alone lends itself to an artistic flair that seemingly settles over the entire community in some fashion. Ashland celebrates pretty much every holiday with a parade. There is something incredibly unique about how the town comes out in full to celebrate Halloween. It’s just one of the many reasons why we believe everyone should visit Ashland. With that being said, I can’t think of a better way to share the holiday, with all of you, than to republish this post from Halloween of 2013.
Dia de Los Muertos
When our son was young, we lived in a family-oriented neighborhood where we probably gave out Halloween treats to 200+ kids each year. It was always fun to carve pumpkins, help out at the school parties and of course ooohhh and aaahhh at the trick-or-treater’s costumes. But never, ever, have we lived in a town where Halloween – Dia de Los Muertos – is celebrated to the extent it is here in Ashland, southern Oregon. Seriously.
There are about 20,000 permanent residents in Ashland and I’m fairly certain 75% of them come out onto the streets on this day of costuming and celebration. Perhaps it’s the influence of having the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in residence; but I have never seen costumes – adult and child alike – such as what I see each year in Ashland. We are simply in awe of the creativity, time and effort put in to the costumes, and the make-up!
A Parade Like No Other
Sponsored by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce the holiday festivities include a Monster Dash race and “thee” parade of the year, as well as face painting, costume prizes, street entertainment and all of the local stores open their doors to trick-or-treaters. And, by parade I mean a massive sea of people who dance the length of Main Street to the rhythmic beat of drums that catches hold of you and won’t let go. To fully appreciate the lengths to which the good people of Ashland celebrate, take two minutes to watch the video. I promise, it will make you smile.
Abi and I are boring – we do not dress in costume but we never miss the parade. We go with camera(s) in hand ready to capture as many fabulous moments as we can. In turn I gladly share them with you!
~ Happy Halloween ~