Halloween in Madison

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Each October, Madison shines. From Bottle Hill Day the first Saturday, to the apples and pumpkins filling the Farmer's Market each Thursday, to the festive scarecrows decorated by local businesses lining Waverly Place, and culminating with all the Halloween Hoopla festivities around town and Spooktacular party at the YMCA, Madison knows how to ring in the fall.

A relatively recent addition to the annual Halloween festivities takes place the Friday before Halloween (October 27, 2017). Families can bring their carved Jack-o'-Lanterns to the steps of the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building and illuminate them to be part of the Pumpkin Illumination for all to see and enjoy.

Also on Friday night (October 27, 2017), in the parking lot next to the Illumination, the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps (29 Prospect Street) holds a Trunk-or-Treat fundraiser. You can get creative and decorate your car trunk ($10 per car to enter), then kids can trick or treat from trunk to trunk in a safe and fun environment, all while raising money for the Ambulance Corps.

Since my kids were babes in arms, we have walked the annual Halloween parade down Main Street. Each year, on the Saturday before Halloween (October 28, 2017), crowds of costumed kids, parents, and even dogs gather at the steps of the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building. (Last year, when my son was a hot dog, he loved seeing a Dachshund also dressed as a hot dog!) They all find friends and neighbors, and admire each others costumes before following the fire trucks for the parade along Main Street. We usually try to search out a family that lives down the street from us to see their annual family costume. So far, they have been characters from Scooby-Do and Wizard of Oz. Looking forward to seeing their coordinated costumes this year!

After the parade, kids gather at the corner of Waverly and Lincoln for a fun magic show. Then it is off to trick-or-treat around the town businesses! Every shop in town that has an orange Jack-o'-Lantern sign in their front window has candy for the kids. Watching costumed kids and their families pop in and out of area businesses always puts a smile on my face.

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Trick or treating around Madison through the years

Some area businesses offer more than just candy. Be sure top stop in at Tons of Toys (64 Main Street) to be a part of their annual costume contest. The crazy guys at the store (who I heard will all be dressed in superhero costumes this year!) will snap a photo of each entrant (after a parent signs a waiver), and will contact the winners later in the week. First place: $100 gift card; second place: $50 gift card; third place: $25 gift card;  honorable mentions: $5 gift card. Also stop in at Madison PhotoPlus (40 Main Street) where they will take a free portrait of your costumed kid that you can pick up the next week. I still display the photo of my daughter as a Candy Fairy from two years ago. To guarantee something allergy-friendly, stop in to see Monika and her teal pumpkin at The Hat Shop (81 Main Street) as part of the Teal Pumpkin Project. Also, be sure to drop in at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (9 Main Street) any time from 11am-2pm for ghoulish games, crafts, treats, and storytelling.

After a brief rest and time to recover from the candy sugar high, head on over to the Spooktacular at the Madison Area YMCA (111 Kings Road). This event runs from 3-5pm, and is free and open to the community. (All adults over the age of 18 MUST provide a STATE/government-issued photo ID to enter the facility.) All ages can enjoy creepy crafts, an obstacle course, devilish dance party, bounce houses, healthy Halloween snacks, tricks, and more!

So, better rest up now so you can be ready for some ghoulish fun around town next weekend!

For more information on the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Halloween Hoopla events mentioned above, visit www.rosenet.org

For more information about the Madison Area YMCA Spooktacular, visit www.madisonareaymca.org