Saturday, November 01, 2008

My first Mt. Vernon Halloween

To explain: Mt. Vernon Street is a residential area of substantial, well kept older homes; for a number of years, it has played host to Prescott's Halloween night trick-or-treaters. In fact, the affair is enough of a tourist draw from the Phoenix environs, and possibly elsewhere, that the city subsidizes the give-away candy. (And if I lived on Mt. Vernon, I think I'd ask for help; participating households are reputed to pass out as much as $600-700 worth of goodies each on this one night of the year!) BTW, though I've lived in town for, it seems, forever, this is the first time I've actually done the Mt. Vernon Halloween scene.

Not everybody takes part in the big contest for the creepiest decor, though I believe this old house with a tower rates as a likely #1.

A few other examples of Halloween on Mt. Vernon...

Since I wasn't equipped to shoot night scenes, I can't offer any really, really crowded crowd shots. I arrived at about 4:30 pm, when parents with the littlest ones show up. As dusk approached, more and more people appeared. The teens and costumed grown-ups show after dark. Mainly.

And then there was this cat, not named Floyd, who found the street without any traffic to be hard to resist crossing. The people were all on the sidewalks.

Though far too much of the decorations and the costuming come from the Halloween stores to meet my taste, a few outfits caught my attention. For example, Dorothy came in from either Kansas or Oz, though Toto was not with her. There were enough dogs present to make up for his absence, though.

I don't think this flower lady (or lady flower) came out of the store either.

Certainly Candidate McCain was store-bought. BTW, you may remember the McCain-Obama scarecrows over on Park Avenue. They lasted three weeks and then both were kidnapped.

Of all the hosts along the street, this couple was my favorite, even though they did not give away any goodies but just chatted with the kids as they passed by.

Almost all the other hosts were costumed and waiting on their porches to give away goodies.

Here's how I felt after the evening on Mt. Vernon. Haven't seen any report about how big the traffic was; never did find out when the tradition started. Can anybody out there fill us in? Oh, yes, if you want more Mt. Vernon pictures, go to the Courier gallery. And, if you want a bit of a snicker at their expense, go to this Halloween post.


Catalyst said...

Good job, GJ.

worldphotos4 said...

Super photos. Reminds me of the crowds when I was a lad in Oakland.

Granny J said...

cat-A -- thanks for the thought & for the link, also.

steve -- so did you go trick-or-treating out in Calif.? It wasn't invented when I was a kid. Halloween pranks were common -- TPing a tree or a car, for instance; and the rare one -- dismantling an old car and re-erecting it on a church roof. I was born too late for the classic of tipping over the outhouse.

worldphotos4 said...

My younger brother and I did it for a few years. Lots of houses in the area, so there was always a good haul of candy and fruit. Apples and oranges. There were enough kids so that you could hit the same houses a few times and they wouldn't notice (grin). I guess that was an advantage to living in a crowded city.

Anonymous said...

The Mt. Vernon district is so cool!

But, yea, with Senator Highway, how did they redirect traffic?

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- it was closed from Sheldon to Carlton; at Carlton, it was possible to take a right onto Mt. Vernon & thence to the Senator. But I think you had to be in on the secret to be aware of that fact. Or ask a policeman -- there were lots of them out and about for Halloween.

TomboCheck said...

I remember spending halloween on Mt. Vernon as a kid, though it wasn't city-sponsored then, and you had to contend with the cars. :)

Granny J said...

tombo -- so that pegs the tradition at at least 20 years, right?

TomboCheck said...


Melanie A. said...

My crowd-hating parents were wheedled into taking my sister and me to Mt. Vernon only once; I think it was about 1975. One night of idling in traffic for an hour or two was all it took for them to forswear ever doing it again.

I think it was such an attraction because so many Prescott neighborhoods at the time had the bad combination of no sidewalks, no streetlights, mean dogs, and people who didn't celebrate Halloween. Mt. Vernon seemed more promising.

dagnygromer said...

Very nice collection of photos. We stayed home and had no trick or treaters come by.

Granny J said...

melanie -- I suspect that all parents (or most) fall into that category; I'm sure that mine did! As I recall, down in Florida, we usually had a Halloween carnival at school for festivities.

dagny -- I didn't have any, either. So I'm pigging out on Hershey miniatures. Definitely not good for me!

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