Simple pleasures: an old-fashioned Halloween party

Halloween conga at QCC

An old-fashioned conga line was the final dance at the community Halloween party at the Queensborough Community Centre Saturday night. Historic surroundings (it’s the village’s well-preserved former one-room schoolhouse), lots of treats, families in costume, music: it was a recipe for a great time.

Boo! And happy Halloween to you all. May your plastic pumpkin be filled with oodles of treats, and the inside of your plastic mask not get too slippery and uncomfortable as it fills up with condensation from your excited breathing as you race door to door.

Oh, wait: I’m channelling some long-ago Halloween memories from my Queensborough childhood – the days when kids wore plastic masks that were doubtless highly flammable, when our identity had to be guessed by each householder before treats could be doled out to our plastic pumpkins, and when those treats were, as often as not, homemade maple and chocolate fudge and sticky-sweet popcorn balls. Those were the days!

But speaking of old-fashioned Halloweens, I thought I’d tell you about an event we had in our little village this past Saturday night that really reminded me of them. It was a community Halloween party/dance organized by the Queensborough Community Centre committee, and yours truly was there to take it all in, help out, and get some photos.

Welcome to the QCC Halloween party

Thanks to Halloween aficonado Tom Sims of Queensborough, we had a huge and spooky welcomer to all who came to the party.

This was the first Halloween event the QCC folks had organized in many years, and no one knew how many people were likely to show up. In the end the turnout was pretty decent, though we had room for more. But really, I thought to myself as I watched the kids dancing and racing around on the dance floor, taking part in the games (more on that in a sec) and generally having a rip-roaring good time, what do numbers matter? Those of us who were there – especially those under the age of 15 or so – had a ball, and that’s all that matters. And if word gets around about what a good Halloween party Queensborough throws, who knows? We may have lots more participants next year.

At any rate, it was a delightful old-fashioned event.

The community centre (Queensborough’s historic former one-room school) was decorated to the hilt:

Mummy in the window

How much is that mummy in the window?

Ghost in the doorway

I believe this is the ghost of Miss Havisham in the doorway!

There was, as is Queensborough tradition, tons of food – evilly delicious snack foods, but also treats like homemade cookies and brownies. And all of it was placed around an ominous-looking table centrepiece wearing Professor Trelawney spectacles:

Treats on the table

There were games and contests, like the one where you had to guess the number of seeds that had come out of the pumpkin:

Pumpkin prize

And there was bobbing for apples! That’s a game I’ve heard about all my life, but had never actually seen in action before. Here’s what it looked like:

Bobbing for apples

A superhero keeps a watchful eye on two urchins bobbing for apples.

A bobbing for apples win

We have a winner!

And there was musical chairs, one of the simplest games of all time, which proved to be wildly popular with the kids:

Musical chairs

Racing for a seat when the music stopped. What a kerfuffle!

There were treat bags for everyone, and costume prizes…

Treat bags and costume prizes

And of course there were judges to award the prizes! Here’s one of them (note the alleged visual impairment of the judge), complete with pet skunk on his shoulder:

Judge Ed with his pet skunk

And here are both of our suitably dark-robed judges doing – of course – the Monster Mash:

And speaking of dancing, there was lots of that. The Macarena was a particularly big hit. How do they remember all the moves?

And how often do a wee kitty-cat and a wee Supergirl get to do the Macarena with Catwoman?

I’m going to close with one last video, showing pretty much everybody – Captain America, Wonder Woman, the Scarecrow, the Incredible Hulk, a beautiful angel and many more whooping it up on the dance floor. It was a happy evening, reminiscent of simpler times.

The world needs more of this.

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