I looked out our window on Halloween Day, 2014. It was only -10ºC outside, but the trees were shaking as the wind howled making it much colder. The weather network put out a warning for Old Crow the night before announcing winds up to 40 kilometres per hour and there was snow everywhere.
I had never seen a Halloween that was full on winter. I remember a few times it being cool with a dusting of snow, but never to the point where if we didn’t dress up in full winter gear we’d probably get frostbite.
Melinda and I had been pushing the adventure of Halloween to little Emily for weeks and we finally got her to understand the concept of the candy acquisition from a stranger via the dressing up in a costume.
And now I would have to crush her spirit by telling her it was too cold outside to go trick-or-treating.
After one more glance out the window I said, “Screw it. Let’s go and see what happens. If it’s too cold we’ll come back in.”
I didn’t want to look like a ding-a-ling taking my daughter out when nobody else did, so I had Melinda make a quick call to one of our friends to see if her children were going, and lo and behold they were. Halloween was on!
We threw Emily into her snowsuit, slapped on her Curious George costume, started up the ski-doo and off we went. To my surprise and despite the hard wind, parents and kids were everywhere zipping up and down the road going from house to house – proof that northerners are a tough breed and the further north you go, the tougher they get.
Lots of people got into the spirit of Halloween making their house spooky and dressing up as witches and ghouls as they gave away homemade goods and big handfuls of candy. Each home had that wood stove warmth that felt blissful on our cold faces. After 45 minutes of candy hunting we returned home, red faced and chilled, but with the knowledge that we earned every piece of our sugary delight. And that was just the beginning of the evening.
Since arriving in Old Crow last January, one of the cool things about living here is how much everyone cares when it comes to holding special events or holidays. Our Old Crow Halloween actually started on October 30th at the community hall where a free pumpkin was given to each family and a carving night was held. Prizes were awarded for the best Jack-o-lanterns at the community’s Halloween night “Spooktacular.”
I freestyled and made some unfortunate carving choices.
However, the “Spooktacular” itself was great fun. Many people showed up in costume and the hall was continually filled with laughter as costumed clowns, witches, trappers, and action figures danced and joked around. The toddlers and infants of the town were also in a constant flux of playing and being super cute. There was a nice spread of snacks, treats, and fruit for us to eat, along with costume contests, door prizes and games like “Musical Chairs” and “Pass the Pumpkin,” which I miss, now that we’re back in Whitehorse.
The gala had live fiddle music to accompany the games and a quick jigging contest – and some of the Elders proved “they still go it!”
The best costume of 2014 deservedly went to the person known only as “Big Bum,” while “Caribou,” “Old Witch,” and “Faceless Trapper” also got well-deserved prizes. Our family got home just after 10 p.m. and little Emily went out like a light. What a cold, tough, great Halloween.