We’ve experienced our first Halloween in America and survived.
First, we saw Max’s school’s Halloween parade, which was a-maz-ing. Every single child wore a costume and paraded around the school’s tiny grassy patch. And every teacher wore a costume (there were some seriously clever ones; for example, Caesar Salad wore a toga and laurel leaves, and carried a bowl of leaves). The children voted on their favourite costumes and Max won best 6th grade boy’s costume!
Meanwhile, over in the city, Gabriella’s school produced some similarly wonderful costumes. Five people joined up to go as the Spice Girls, but they dressed as spices. The Admissions team went as a giant human yoyo, complete with extra-long string pulling. A group of teenagers went as the High School Musical cast and even choreographed a dance. Two 17-year-olds dressed and acted so convincingly as each other (one was a preppy, neat golfer and the other was a surfer dude) that they won the costume competition.
But later that evening came the main event. Admittedly, we were in Sycamore Avenue, which is Halloween Central and not normal, even by American Halloween standards. But what an extraordinary evening.
There were hordes of Trick or Treaters out at Halloween. We’d been invited to a party and we sat on the porch to soak up the experience. Children did not hold back with their costumes; they thronged the streets; and they queued to get onto the porch to collect mini chocolate bars.
Some of them remembered to say “thank you” for their chocolate. Some greeted our hosts with “Happy Halloween” as they looted the bucket of sweets. Many thought to offer the threat of “Trick or Treat?”. But several more bypassed all the social niceties and went straight for the jugular: “How much candy can I take?”.
Jim, one of our hosts, said that he hands out 1000 pieces of candy every Halloween. At a cost of $100 each time. Halloween is clearly sponsored by Mars and Hershey’s. 40% of all candy here is sold in the week before Halloween and I can believe it based on the amount I saw moving on Halloween evening.
It’s over the top, ridiculous, crazy. And an eye-popping education. Apart from the bonkers chocolate spend, I loved it.