Village Celebrates Halloween with Family-Friendly Activities

The village of Hamilton, New York hosted a community-wide event called “Halloween in Hamilton” to celebrate the spooky season. The event started on Friday, Oct. 28, and concluded on Monday, Oct. 31 in a range of locations in downtown Hamilton.

The Hamilton Community Players kicked off Halloween Night in Hamilton by presenting the War of the Worlds Radio Show in the Palace Theater. On Saturday, there was a “Trunk or Treat” event hosted by Hamilton-area churches. Broad Street was closed to street traffic, and children and adults were trick-or-treating from trunk to trunk in town, while Park United Methodist Church hosted its coat drive. On Monday, the Park United Methodist Church offered free cider and doughnuts while people were at the Hamilton Public Library for arts and crafts. Starting at the Colgate Bookstore, there was a costume parade and local businesses handed out candy donated by the Community Memorial Hospital. The Village of Hamilton’s mayor, RuthAnn Loveless, was Parade Leader and chaperoned the activity throughout the streets. Sponsored by the Colgate Bookstore, the Hamilton Movie Theater played the 2013 short, “Toy Story of Terror” for free.

Lauren Marshall, web and marketing specialist for the Colgate Bookstore, was the main organizer of the event. The Bookstore is the primary organizer with support from the Hamilton Movie Theater and the Hamilton Public Library. Marshall explained the behind-the-scenes of the event.

“We began this local tradition six years ago and we continue to add more community partners every year,” Marshall said. “[There were events such as] ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ where every child received a pumpkin to decorate and paint, or ‘The BFG’ where kids created a glowing Dream Jar and snacked on Frobscottle.”

Halloween Night in Hamilton is an event for the community of Hamilton to gather together, as surrounding communities.

“It is also an event where many families travel for the day from as far out as Syracuse, Oneida and Utica,” Marshall said. 

Sophomore George Wilson commented on the importance of the event for the community.

“Small communities like Hamilton, NY are brought together by the Halloween spirit,” Wilson said. “It unites the Colgate Community and the rest of the village of Hamilton in a festive environment.” 

One of the main attractions of the entire weekend is the costume parade. 

“Halloween in Hamilton events are always well attended, with about 150-200 people joining the costume parade every year,” Marshall said.

Sophomore Harley Caggiano explained why she was excited about the costume parade, as it reminded her of when she was younger.

“I am so excited to see all the kids in their costumes during the costume parade, and become more connected with the rest of the community,” Caggiano said. “When I was little, my elementary school had a costume parade and I remember being so excited to show my costume off.”

Another main attraction of Halloween Night in Hamilton was the War of the Worlds Radio Show in the Palace Theater. Presented by the Hamilton Community Players, according to the War of the Worlds pamphlet, Director John Hunter Orr explained the meaning of the play. 

“The play dramatizes one of the great hoaxes perpetrated on the American people – a Halloween Eve broadcast in 1938 by Orson Welles and his ‘Mercury Theatre on the Air’ cast that was to become a landmark in radio history,” Orr said. “Their realistic adaptation of H.G. Wells’s science fiction classic convinced over a million people throughout the country that Martians had invaded the earth.” 

The production of this radio show took place this past July, but Halloween Night in Hamilton marks their revival performance. 

Overall, attendees expressed that Halloween Night in Hamilton united the Colgate community and village of Hamilton, and got them in the festive spirit. Senior Ava Horn, who lives in a house near the village, noted how excited she was for the event, especially as fall comes to an end. 

“My house[mates] and I had a great time handing out candy this year in town,” Horn said. “The costumes were adorable and it was great to participate in the community.”