The All Hallows Eve Celebration in downtown Highlands was rescheduled for the day after Halloween because of weather concerns, and event organizers and those carrying sacks full of candy feel it was the best decision in the long run.
After a discussion between Kaye McHan, Executive Director of the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center (Sponsor of All Hallows Eve); Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor, and Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrel, it was deemed the weather predicted for Halloween presented safety risks.
“It was a very tough call but Chief Harrell, Mayor Pat Taylor, and I met and reviewed the weather conditions and determined it could be an unsafe situation if we leave the event on Halloween night,” said McHan. “We are very satisfied with the outcome of the change and regret any inconvenience it may have caused local businesses, residents, and visitors, but we felt safety of the children came first.”
Letter to the Editor from Kaye McHan:
On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, I would like to offer our most sincere thanks to all who helped us make the Highlands All Hallows Eve Celebration one of the best! Many, many thanks to, Highlands Police Department and Rotary Clubs for keeping participants safe; Town of Highlands Fire and Rescue for equipment and helping set up and break down; Highlands School Interact Club for distributing 700 pounds of chocolate candy; both Rotary Clubs of Highlands for teaming up to cook, serve, and clean up after 2,100 hot dogs and beverages were provided; and for all the fabulous businesses on Main Street and 4th Street for being the center of the festivities for thousands of children and parents! It is true, the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. Thank you for compassionately caring about Highlands and taking action to bring the town together!
Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center
Kids concur with event organizers’ decision
Eva Silverthorn, 11, said the change worked out well for her planned festivities.
“I didn’t mind the change,” said Silverthorn. “I had on a lemur onesie, so I was warm and dry. Trick or treating on Halloween in the rain would have been awful.”
Lillian Rutter, 11, said she loves going trick or treating in downtown Highlands because she doesn’t like to knock on everyone’s doors in neighborhoods. She said the change was the smart choice.
“I liked it because if they didn’t change it, we would have gotten all wet and my makeup would have run, and that would be bad,” said Rutter.
Lalya Babac, 11, said safety is one of the main reasons she likes trick or treating in downtown Highlands so much.
“It’s great because there’s police everywhere and they can always see you so you don’t get kidnapped,” said Babac. “Plus, you can meet your friends at different places and you usually get extra candy because you know everybody.”
She added that even though there was a glimpse of sunshine when trick or treating was supposed to begin on Halloween, it was better for all involved to reschedule it.
“Having it on a Friday is good because you’re all hyped up and you can stay at other people’s houses because you don’t have school the next day,” said Babac. “And even though it was nice and warm when it was supposed to start, the people who had to set up would have had to do it in the rain.”
Cody Nastasic, 15, said he’s glad the Chamber holds this event each year and was happy All Hallows Eve was rescheduled.
“It’s fun because you get to see everybody,” said Nastasic. “People dress up or not, they’re out there having fun. It rained all day Thursday, and no one would have showed up. They made a good call.”
Highlands All Hallows Eve Celebration is a team effort
McHan said a big thank you to the estimated 3,000-4,000 people who descended upon downtown Highlands on Friday, which is why the Chamber sponsors All Hallows Eve, to bring the community together.
“Just offering a venue and providing a central focus for activities in Highlands facilitates local awareness, becomes a starting point for involvement, and builds community spirit,” said McHan.
It was an all hands-on deck situation as the Chamber worked with multiple organizations to make the event such a success, including HPD, HFR, Town of Highlands, The Literacy Council, Highlands School Interact Club, and both Highlands Rotary Clubs, to name a few. McHan said it was a team effort.
“Both of the Highlands Rotary Clubs are involved in this annual event and we could not provide this event without everyone’s help,” said McHan. “The Rotary Clubs are in charge of the food and beverage provided at no charge through the Chamber of Commerce and also work closely with the Highlands Police Department. The clubs unite and transport the food, cook, serve and clean up, work with the Highlands Police Department on safety and all for the sake of service to the community. It is a great group of volunteers committed to Highlands!”