by Elizabeth Connolly
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Falloween, a new event combining Halloween on Main and Harvest Fest, took place on Saturday, October 28th. It was a spectacular day: unseasonably warm with wall-to-wall sunshine, which many people seemed to enjoy. “I love it, but it’s not so great with this costume,” said one Main Street shop owner, fanning herself with her witch hat in one hand while handing out candy with the other. “I’m sweating in this!”
The day started at 9:30 a.m. with costumed participants checking in and gathering on Stone Field. Promptly at 10, the parade was formed at Blackburn Hall. From there, it went out past the municipal parking lot, taking a left onto East Street and another left onto Main. Once they reached the town common, the parade quickly turned into a trick-or-treat extravaganza as eager children visited participating businesses to request their rewards.
“We had just over 400 children registered for the parade this year,” commented Assistant Recreation Director Lauren Antonetti. “We estimate the parade itself had over 1,000 people including children and adults. It was a great turnout.”
As trick-or-treating wrapped up, crowds gathered back on Stone Field. The area had been transformed into an exciting Autumn festival featuring a variety of Fall-themed inflatables, touch-a-truck, live music, face painting, and balloon twisting. Hundreds of locals of all ages joined in the celebration. It was a great way to spend such a gorgeous late October afternoon. “We would like to thank the community for coming out and enjoying the day with us,” added Antonetti, when asked her thoughts on the day. “The weather was beautiful this year, which always helps.”
Halloween on Main is believed to have originated in 1994 as an exciting pre-Halloween trick-or-treat option that also supported the downtown area by getting people to walk it and explore the shop offerings by foot rather than the usual quick drive-by. The event was successful from the start; in fact, this reporter has fond memories of taking her younger brother when the event was in its infancy. It’s possible that the continuation of these beloved annual activities and the memories made at them are part of what makes Walpole such a special place to live. To that end, we were happy to hear that Falloween may be here to stay. “We hope to build off of the theme each year,” Antonetti explained. “We are excited to see what works and what doesn’t, growing the event into something the community can really look forward to.”