By Matt A. Sheen
With Rutland’s signature Halloween Parade canceled this year due to the pandemic, people in the city of Rutland have stepped up to create alternatives creative (and creepy) experiences for the community to enjoy.
“We made the decision a couple months ago not to do a float this year, just not knowing where all this Covid will be in the fall,” said Chris Center of Fabian Earth Moving, long-time parade heavy-hitters in the various trophy categories. “We are hoping to do some trick-or-treating at our shop, where parents could drive their kids through to collect some candy! We will be dressing up and handing out candy! We always do a Halloween party with family and friends, everyone will do their own costumes, they can be pretty creative! This is the first time we will be doing trick-or-treating from the shop. We live next door to the business, it’s all the same yard. We always hand out candy from our house—we [usually] get very few trick-or-treaters!’’ she said, but expects this year to be different given the limited events.
“Local resident Lisa Lamb has been a regular parade-goer for years.’’I remember as a teenager we would go to the Pittsford haunted house and wait for hours in line, in the cold, but it was so worth it! These days I skip the haunted house, and stick to the local Halloween parade (I don’t think I’ve missed one since childhood). We also planned to go to Salem, Massachusetts during Halloween time, something I haven’t done yet, but with Covid that won’t be happening this year, either.”
But Lamb’s enthusiasm for the holiday hasn’t been extinguished by the parade’s absence this year.
“When I think of Halloween, I think spooky scary. The great thing about Halloween is that you can make it whatever you want, scary, creepy, fun, silly, or magical. I happen to like scary and creepy. I guess I’ve always loved a good horror movie.’’
With her husband’s help, Lamb has been an annual yard haunter in recent years, decking out the exterior of her home with spooky decorations.
“I don’t know when my love for Halloween started,” she mused. “As a child, my family didn’t decorate too much. I have never gotten too much into decorating until about five years ago. It started small and each year it grew. The main theme is skeletons, I think we have over 15 adult ones, and lots of animal and kid ones. We position them so they look like they’re climbing the side of the house and onto the roof. The front yard last year had a football player, cheerleader, chainsaw guy, skeleton on a bike and a child skeleton on a little bike. It differs each year and I’m hoping to add more skeletons this year. The process takes days to complete. My husband Jack is the muscle behind it, I stand back and tell him the placement,” she said.
“I would say Halloween is the holiday that I decorate most for outside, I do some Christmas decorations, but not half as much as Halloween. It makes me smile when people drive by and look, or take pictures,” Lamb added.
Outdoor decorating has been embraced by Rutlanders throughout the city it seems, including Barbara Spaulding, leader of the Bellvue Avenue Boo Crew of volunteers who stage a haunted house attraction in Spaulding’s home every Halloween night to benefit Mentor Connector.
“We do plan to decorate the yard as usual,” Spaulding said. “The theme this year will be an ode to old horror movies and include Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, etc. ..At least folks can drive by and feel a sense of nostalgia. Not sure if the City will cancel trick-or-treating but we will plan to have some live monsters on hand to distribute candy safely, if possible. In light of Covid we just don’t see a way to do [the haunted house] and keep everyone safe. We hope we can continue in 2021.”