An unorthodox Halloween still yields candy and fun

Batman, aka Edgartown Police Sgt. Jaimie Craig, hands out candy bags to children in Edgartown. - Courtesy Edgartown Police

Updated Nov. 2

Vineyard kids faced the prospect of a Halloween devoid of trick-or-treating because of the pandemic. But across the Island, solutions were found to provide a Halloween experience where costumes and candy were still central. 

Reverse trick-or-treating occurred in Edgartown on Friday. The Edgartown Police Department had children sign up to receive a bag of treats. The response was so great that the department called in the help of the fire department. They put together 160 bags for delivery.

The event was organized by the police benevolent association. Sgt. Will Bishop was one of the organizers, and Sgt. Jamie Craig dressed as Batman to make deliveries. Edgartown Police Chief Brice McNamee lauded the initiative of his officers, saying he was “really proud that the officers came up with it. It’s a great concept.”

Ahead of deliveries, the department took a moment to honor Traffic Officer Neal Condlin for 14 years of service. Condlin was presented with a signed photograph. 

Meanwhile, at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Friday afternoon, faculty and students were also scaring up some treats for costumed Vineyarders. The socially distanced event was sanctioned by the Oak Bluffs board of health. High school adjustment counselors Amy Lilavois and Matt Malowski organized the event. 

On Thursday, the board of health asked that businesses on Circuit Avenue not hand out candy on Halloween because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and the board of selectmen reversed a decision to allow Vineyard Avenue to be closed to allow for trick-or-treating.

“Halloween went off without a hitch,” Oak Bluffs Police Chief Eerik Blake emailed. “Not many kids out, and there was no need for road closures. Everyone behaved.”

Other events that took place across the Island included curbside pickup of Halloween-themed goodie bags at the Oak Bluffs library. A Trunk or Treat at the Vineyard Assembly of God took place, but Williams Street wasn’t the bustling scene it typically is. 

“We did not know how to do it safely for ourselves and for the kids,” Wiet Bacheller said. Bacheller, a former teacher at the Oak Bluffs School and the Tisbury School, has owned a home on William Street with her husband, John Bacheller, since 1976. 

She said this year they decided to decorate, and put out 12 jack-o’-lanterns, but did not host trick-or-treaters. Instead, she said, they put out a sign that said all the money typically spent on candy was donated to the Island Food Pantry. 

“Usually we get 1,000 people,” she said. This year she saw a few family groups walk along the road, but they constituted a small fraction of the volume of past Halloweens. 

She said it was “disappointing” someone decided to egg her driveway and porch roof. “They would have been better off giving the eggs to the Food Pantry,” she said. 

There was a drive-through event at the West Tisbury library for Halloween goodies and fun. 

“Our Halloween drive-through was amazing,” West Tisbury Free Public Library director Alexandra Pratt said. “We gave away over 200 bags of candy and other treats.”

Chilmark also held a drive-through event at the town hall and fire station.

Chilmark Fire Chief Jeremy Bradshaw said there was a “good turnout” for “go bags” of candy. Behind the fire station, he said, they gave out approximately 60 bags. More bags were given in Menemsha by Katie Carroll, he said. 

Updated with information about what happened on Saturday.