Halloween makes a big comeback

Louise Marois and Yvon Renaud handing out candy on horseback along John Street in Sturgeon Falls. They are accompanied by Erica Paul and Stella Smith walking a pony.

Halloween events all over West Nipissing were a great success this year. Community members, organisations and businesses rallied together to deliver a memorable Halloween experience after two years of pandemic restrictions.

The first of these events, Trunk or Treat was held on the Saturday before Halloween. The Lavigne community centre parking lot was packed with 51 vehicles, each one handing out candy. “It was our biggest year we’ve ever had since 2016,” says Jérôme Courchesne, adding that well over 100 kids showed up. “For a small community like Lavigne of 700 people, that’s a lot!”

In Field, the kids finally got their Halloween dance back. Over 85 children and their parents attended the event at the Knight’s of Columbus Hall in the church basement. Linda Leduc has been running the Halloween Dance with the Field Recreation Committee for about 35 years. This year, families enjoyed the dancing, games, limbo, haunted house, and treats that were made available by committee members and quite a few volunteers from local schools. “We had a very good turnout! Looks like West Nipissing kids were anxious for our Halloween dance, we are thankful to our sponsors that were kind to us and gave us very nice gifts we were able to hand out to the kids through the night,” enthuses Leduc. “We’re looking forward to doing it again next year!”

At the Sturgeon Falls community center, the popular Kids Safe Halloween was back. Organised by the municipality, it was attended by over 1000 people according to Catherine Levac-Lafond, Community Development Officer for the town. “We ended up with 20 participants, plus donations from at least 8 other businesses, groups, and individuals.”

Around town, Yvon Renaud and Louise Marois could be found on horseback giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. They began doing the horseback trick-or-treating during the pandemic, and it has now become tradition. “It’s not just for kids, it’s for the adults too. When we go around, even the adults comment that it makes their day,” says Renaud. The candy was donated by both Giant Tiger and Yvon’s own YR Hair Studio, and the decorations were also provided by the studio. Renaud says that by the end of the night, over a thousand candies had been handed out.

Over at 92 First Street, roughly 200 kids showed up to Chad Polishak and Jennifer Dagger’s interactive trick-or-treating display. Dressed in a biohazard suit and mask, “Doctor” Polishak “diagnosed” visitors with a candy deficiency, and sent them to Dagger at the “treatment centre” where she would hand out the candy. A sign with the acronym “CDC”, which meant in this case “Candy Deficiency Centre” was put up at their house to complete the display. “For Children with CDD (Candy Deficiency Disorder), symptoms included turning into ghouls, ghosts and beasties, forcing parents to let them out after dark to get candy, only to be cured and return to normal on November 1st,” jokes Polishak.

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