By Chad Ingram
The Halloween celebration at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre this past weekend was great, and not just because I won a lollipop for decimating my sister and brother-in-law in a double pumpkin roll race. Thank you.
Normally, the Minden Hills family Halloween party is an evening event with dancing and games at a spookily decorated community centre. This year, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the township’s Halloween festivities were done differently.
An afternoon outing, families could choose between two time-slots – 1 to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 4:30 p.m. – with registration required ahead of time to keep attendance numbers at an acceptable level. The grounds at the Minden Hills Museum, festooned with cobwebs, bats and gravestones – the fake variety, obviously – provided an outdoor setting where families could interact while keeping their distance from one another. There was a scavenger hunt, trivia game, pumpkin roll, croquet, a jack o’lantern competition, and at the conclusion, a costume contest with some socially distanced dancing. Particularly for parents of very young children, the afternoon event allows you to get your Halloweening in early in the day if you so choose, and the township should continue with the event past the pandemic.
The celebration was also great for the sense of normalcy it provided, however brief. 2020 has been a year far scarier than any Halloween display, and it was nice to be out at a community event, to see kids in their costumes and with their candy buckets, dancing to Thriller and the Monster Mash. In our case, it was nice for our kids, aged three and one, who haven’t exactly had a robust social life for the past seven months, to actually see some other kids, and be able to experience the strange childhood wonder of the occasion.
Sure, everyone was wearing face masks and keeping their distance from one another, but it was still Halloween.
Thanks to township staff and volunteers for their work on what should become a new tradition.