Swanage is gearing up for its second town-wide Halloween trick or treat – with more shops and other venues taking part.
The event was the brainchild of American-born Heather Davis who runs 4Matt Framers in the High Street with her husband Matt.
Last year’s Halloween event was such a success that the couple decided to run it again, with participating venues this year displaying a specially created window sticker.
Heather Davis and husband Matt outside their shop 4Matt Framers
Trick or treat under threat
Heather Davis said:
“This all started when it was announced Trick or Treating and Halloween had been cancelled last year.”
The couple felt at the time that everything was in place – like masks and social distancing – so were upset that the children would miss out.
Places taking part in this year’s trick or treat event are displaying window stickers
“Given up so much already”
“They had given up so much already and they were about to lose candy day as well, a day when they can just let go and be anyone they can imagine.”
Many of the shopkeepers agreed and Halloween was saved. Candy, toys, colouring books, crystals and art lessons were just a few of the things the children were treated to last year. This year it’s even bigger.
Andy Knill outside his Art Studios and two other participating shops
“Spread some happiness”
It’s an enthusiasm shared by Debbie O’Connor who has decorated her home in Brickyard Close in Swanage and encouraged her children and others to get involved.
“I have done a Halloween Display for my children and the local children in the community to celebrate Halloween and give them something to look forward to as the past few years haven’t been that great for everybody and I just want to spread some happiness for the local community and the children to enjoy with their families.”
Debbie O’Connor has decorated her home for Halloween
Certainly, Halloween celebrations seem to have taken off in the area. At Lenctenbury Farm at Norden, near Corfe Castle, they grew more pumpkins this year than ever and they sold out early.
Farmer Andy Carlyle said:
“We grew three times as many this year and they’ve all gone before the end of the month. So next year we will be growing even more.”
Next year Andy and Lou Carlyle plan to grow even more pumpkins
Andy explained how the pumpkin harvest has been getting more popular:
“We used to grow the pumpkins and harvest them, and then people would come to the barn and choose in the comfort and dry. But then a few people said they would really like to pick them from the field themselves.
“We do pick your own fruit, but in summer it’s a lot warmer than it is in October, when the fields are muddy and it’s cold and wet.
“But it’s been a huge success. It’s a lot of fun, especially as we give the children sledges to use for the pumpkins they pick.”
Aislinn O’Neill of Jurassic Outdoors dresses up for the event
“Best Halloween ever”
Last year’s trick or treat event was warmly received on social media.
Maia Allenby wrote: ‘It was really special to see Swanage pull together.’
Joss Gibson wrote: ‘My boys are over the moon and a little hyper now. Swanage has done itself proud again.’
Angela Bartlett wrote: ‘It was absolutely wonderful, and my two grandchildren had the best Halloween ever!’
The support from Swanage shops, pubs and other businesses has been huge
“Swanage was buzzing”
Heather Davis said:
“In the States, shops have been hosting Halloween for the kids since I was little. It was great to see it happen here and watch everyone enjoying themselves.
“We received so much appreciation from the parents, thanking us for doing something fun for their young ones. It made our community feel close again. We all really needed that I think.
“Swanage was buzzing last year and I felt incredibly proud to be a part of such a heartfelt town.”
The display at 4Matt Framers is not for the faint-hearted
The event takes place on Saturday October 30th 2021 from 10am to 5pm.
For more information you can contact 4Matt Framers and Gallery on Facebook or at 01929 421320 during business hours.
More shops prepare for the Halloween trick or treat