The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 6, 2009


Over 500 trick-or-treaters prowled the Town Center

A most charming pair, Ashley Grant (left) and Bryn Cimino, from Mrs. Comeau’s kindergarten class, graciously pause during the Carlisle School parade. (Photo by Jane Hamilton)

It was a busy Halloween with more trick-or-treaters than ever before coming to Carlisle Center. It was also a quiet and safe Halloween. This did not happen by accident. Ferns Country Store proprietor Larry Bearfield, who has been a key person in organizing Halloween in the Center, said, “The cooperation from everybody is always outstanding. That’s what makes it a good thing to do. Everybody chips in to make things happen.”

“Everybody chips in”

The “everybody” Bearfield was referring to includes both town employees and residents. The Carlisle Police had four officers in the Town Center as well as a bicycle patrol in the area. “They were fabulous,” says Bearfield. Concord Street resident Sandy Nash, who has always coordinated the collection and distribution of the treats, did so once again this year. In addition, Superintendent Gary Davis and the Department of Public Works helped to set up the pumpkin display and then removed the defunct pumpkins promptly after the celebration. That “everybody” also includes all the residents who worked to achieve the new footpaths around the center that made the event accessible and safe.

Bearfield said, “A lot of people turned out” and that lot was estimated at over 500 children, according to persons who counted heads at the Halloween event.

Center celebration “just grew”

You might not recognize them, but kindergartners from Mrs. Chandler’s class, (from left) Emily McCormack, Christopher Li and Daniel Jaffe, are anxious for their first Halloween Parade at the Carlisle School on Friday, October 30. (Photo by Jane Hamilton)

Like Topsy, Halloween in the Center ‘’just grew.” A number of years ago, trickers old enough to be mobile started heading toward a more thickly populated area with a potential for more treats. Parents were glad to know their children were not walking around unprotected on dark streets. Residents in the Center had a hard time because hordes of children would descend on them and clean them out of candy before the neighborhood kids arrived. Eventually, people from around town began to take extra candy to the Ferns Country Store to be redistributed for Center residents to hand out. Ultimately, the whole collecting and giving operation was centered at Ferns with Bearfield and his wife Robin Emerson organizing the Halloween night event and meeting incidental expenses, including an ad in the Mosquito.

Originally, focus on Halloween in the Town Center was seen as a neighborly activity that could reach older residents who don’t get out easily or don’t have trick-or-treaters coming to their doors. One senior expressed gratitude for the Center operation: “I’ve lived here 23 years and never had a trick-or-treater.”

Nash thinks the event represents a good community balance, among persons in ‘’the outskirts and the people in the Center” supporting the activity. She said, “It keeps everybody young.” ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito