Halloween spirit alive in Vineyard Haven

After being canceled last year, trick-or-treaters return to William Street. 


Ghouls, fairy tale creatures, and cartoon characters excitedly roamed the streets of Vineyard Haven in search of tricks or treats on a cool Halloween evening Sunday. 

Trick-or-treating was canceled last year because of COVID concerns in the popular William Street neighborhood. Halloween this year saw a return of trick-or-treating at some of the residences on William Street. One of these homes was the Steads, who spoke with the Times earlier in the month about bringing the Halloween fun back. 

“It is less spooky, I suppose, but I think the neighborhood was polarized, because some people are not sure whether it can be done safely, and that’s fine for them,” Ethan Stead said. 

“We have a few neighbors right down the street that are participating as well,” Tracey Stead said. “The weather is so beautiful and, especially after the storm and everything, it’s so nice to just get out and let the kids celebrate. Especially after almost two years of COVID, it’s so nice to see all of the kids out and doing what they do normally on this day.”

Tracey Stead said the spike in activity on William Street during Halloween was something they were warned about prior to closing on their current home, and the Steads were prepared for this year’s wave of trick-or-treaters. They had a trunk full of sweet goodies. Whittier Stead, the couple’s youngest son, said the treats added up to 1,777 pieces of candy. 

Another home that handed out candy to trick-or-treaters was the Elliots’. Michael Elliot said it felt good to be one of the homes reigniting the Halloween spirit on William Street.

Last year was disappointing, Elliot said. “I was born and raised here. I used to trick-or-treat here when I was little, like these guys, and here I am returning the favor.”

The Halloween cheer was a shared sentiment among trick-or-treaters and their families. “It was nice to get out,” Nathan Dlabaj said. “The kids really enjoyed it.” 

“We really appreciate the houses that give candy to the kids,” Janay Dlabaj said. 

There was also candy being passed out at some Main Street businesses, and by officers from the Tisbury Police Department. 

Ethan Stead said he hopes next year’s trick-or-treating can get more people and organizations, such as the Vineyard Haven Business Association, involved to preserve and foster the Halloween tradition. He expects more children and families to come to William Street to trick-or-treat. 

“We’re really interested in preserving the tradition and making it bigger,” he said. “We’re just glad people are here to trick-or-treat at all this year. It’s an important Island tradition, and it’s important to connect the children back to those traditions that are pure joy.”