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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There Are Signs

All signs point to a lot happening in Reading right now.

If you have approached Reading from West Windsor or from the north or south on Route 106, you’ve probably noticed the “Welcome to Reading” signs. They’re simple, sturdy granite structures.

I joined the sign committee—Esther Allen, Bill Bakker, Erika Marletta, Gary Vittum, and Mary Vittum—last Saturday to take some photos of the signs and the committee. Esther had brought some mums and pumpkins to adorn the sign for the season.

I know opinions of the signs were mixed at the past two Town Meetings. However, I think we can all agree that it is nice to show off some pride in our town and offer a greeting to people who enter.

In more—and different—sign news, the Reading Green Spaces Committee was happy to dedicate the new sign for Puddledock Park, and the park itself, last Saturday. Thanks to everyone who showed up and special thanks to Karl Hanson for bringing down an apple press and pressing cider for the crowd. I love cider, and to me, nothing beats the unadulterated flavor of what comes straight from the press.

The committee and all the guests were happy to welcome new neighbors to Reading. Emily Curtis-Murphy and her two boys, 11-year-old Odin Murphy-Yetman and nine-year-old Ellery Murphy-Yetman, came by to see the park. They recently purchased a house on Tyson Road and were looking to meet their new neighbors. The house needs a lot of work, according to Emily, and she is up to the task.

The boys were up to the task of building scarecrows for the Build-A-Scarecrow contest. Not long after they got there, they were digging into the supplies. They’re ready to join the fun.

Have you made your scarecrow yet? If you need supplies, as in posts and clothes, or have any questions, shoot me a text. If you’ve got what you need, get creating! We are offering two $50 gift cards to local establishments to the two best scarecrows. Judging begins soon and will run through Halloween.

That special day is a favorite holiday for most kids and many adults. The Reading Selectboard, the Reading Recreation Commission, and the Reading Town Health Officer want kids to enjoy this holiday while helping to ensure their safety and the safety of the people handing out treats. Here is some guidance on how the town of Reading can do both.

The Reading Recreation Commission will be holding Trunk-or-Treating in the Town Hall parking lot on Halloween, Saturday, October 31, starting at 6pm. We encourage people who do not live in the Village to reserve a spot in the lot and welcome trick-or-treaters.

The town will provide a folding table that is two feet wide. You can set the table four feet from the trunk of your car to provide six feet of social distancing. You can place your candy on the table for trick-or-treaters and replenish as needed.

While trunk-or-treating, please maintain a safe social distance between your party and other trunk-or-treaters.

The Selectboard, the Recreation Commission, and the Town Health Officer suggest that people in the Village who want to welcome trick-or-treaters follow a similar protocol to the one outlined for Trunk-or-Treating. Here is your chance to be creative as well. Consider some other fun ways to distribute candy, such as a long grabber tool to grab candy and extend your reach to distribute it, or even a candy chute.

It is also important that you make your willingness to hand out treats obvious to trick-or-treaters. Residents who do not wish to participate will not be outdoors or not have a table set up. These will be cues to trick-or-treaters not to visit these houses.

While trick-or-treating, please maintain a safe social distance between your party and other trick-or-treaters.

When you and your kids are haunting the Village, be sure to swing by the library. As in years past, the Reading Public Library will display the pumpkins carved by RES students. The librarian will work to ensure that social distancing protocols are met.

Then there is the issue of masks. Most Halloween costume masks have holes at the mouth and nose. Therefore, they would not be considered proper face coverings in this time of the pandemic. So why not make your face-covering part of your costume. If your child wants to go as a superhero, why not go as a doctor or nurse? The mask is already part of the costume. Or you could find a graphic face covering and apply face paints to match it or build on what is on the mask. Be creative!

The Recreation Commission regrets to announce that it will not be holding the pizza party or Fright Night. Since both events are held indoors and maintaining a safe distance will be challenging, if not impossible, these events would be too difficult to hold safely.

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

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on October 15, 2020.

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