• Stephen D'Agostino

Everyone is Welcome To Reading’s Halloween Celebration

Mid-October means four things in our little town, and one thing at my home.


First, it means the Leaf Peeper Breakfast. Thanks and congratulations to the PTO for putting on such a delicious community event! In turn, the PTO wishes to thank everyone who donated their time and those who donated food to make the breakfast possible: King Arthur Flour, Spring Brook Farm, McNamara Dairy, Abracadabra Coffee, the Woodstock Farmers’ Market, and local hens who provided the eggs.


Second, mid-October means leaf peepers or peeperazzi as I call them. As I write this, we are at peek peeper. Cars are passing by my window every few minutes, but, unlike in prior years, few seem to stop. When they do, it is often in the middle of the road, so one or two folks can jump out and take pictures with their phones. At least it's fast.


By the time you read this, there will likely be more leaves on the ground than on the trees, so leaf-peeping season will be done for another year. Now we can await snowflakes descending on us in place of peepers. I'm kidding!


In fact, let's hope that two weeks from tonight the weather is warm—or at least not cold—and dry—or at least not raining. Because third, mid-October means Fright Night is just two weeks away!

The recipe for this spooky, special evening is tried and true, so the rundown will seem familiar, with one notable exception.


The fun starts with pizza at Town Hall at 4:30pm. At 5, the town's ghouls and goblins, wizards and superheroes will trick-or-treat in the village and trunk-or-treat in the parking lot of Town Hall. Be sure to stop by the library to vote for your favorite carved pumpkin. The top three vote-getters will win prizes.

Here's where things are a little different. Undoubtedly, you have seen many scarecrows around Felchville since the Reading Fall Fair. Some were made at the fair. Others were made by people who decided later that they wanted to be part of the fun. Whenever they were created, they are all in the running for Reading’s best scarecrow. You can vote for your favorite at Town Hall or the library. Simply fill out the form with the number of your favorite scarecrow. The top vote-getter and the house in front of which it resides will win a prize. The Reading Recreation Commission will announce the winners at the same time they announce the winners of the Carved Pumpkin Contest.


After pumpkins and scarecrows have been honored, it's back to Town Hall for Fright Night. There will be games for the kids, the haunted graveyard, a fortune teller, and more fun to finish off what is one of the biggest nights in Reading.


For those people reading this column who are not from Reading, feel free to join us. It’s a small-town, community celebration, which adds to its charm. In short, everyone is welcome. The more, the merrier, or scarier, or funnier, or happier. Whatever Halloween means to you!


Onto something that could instill fright in some people, despite its benefit. Fourth in my list, mid-October means it’s time to get a flu shot. Next Monday, October 21, at Reading Town Hall, the VNH will hold a flu clinic so you can get yours. Flu shots are available to anyone 18 years or older. If you are covered by Medicare Part B or a Medicare Replacement Plan, be sure to bring your ID cards. Otherwise, the shot is $25 and is payable by cash or check.


When this column is off to the paper, I’ll really need to focus on putting my garden to bed. Since we haven’t had a killing frost yet, mid-October is a perfect time for me to grab my straggler tomatoes from the garden. Everything else has been picked, save for two pumpkins, which are languishing, refusing to turn color, my nine stalks of Brussels sprouts, which can withstand this and even cooler weather, and my parsnips, which can stay in the ground all winter, though they’d be sorely missed in stews and soups over the coming months.


With mid-October out of the way, I’m going to go out talking about early December. On December 7, the Reading Historical Society will be holding the Fourth Annual Reading Holiday Craft Fair at Town Hall from 9am to 2pm. There will be plenty of news about this later, but for now, know two things. First, there are still some open spots for crafters. If you are would like to be part of Reading’s Craft Fair, contact me at stephen.d.dagostino@gmail.com.


At the Craft Fair, the Reading Historical Society will announce the winner of a raffle for a table handcrafted by Jim Bennett from reclaimed butternut wood. To see photos, visit Town Hall or the Reading Facebook page (facebook.com/ReadingVT). Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. You can purchase them at Reading Town Hall.


Happy birthday to Amy Harkins (October 18), Tom Brennan (October 22), Alan Dutton (October 22), and Deb Ledoux (October 25).


That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!


This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on October 17, 2019.

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