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A Tale Of Two Trick-Or-Treat Towns In Vermont

In Vermont, whether or not you're prepping for trick-or-treaters depends on where you live.

Friday is, of course, Halloween. Have you stocked the bowl with candy for all of those trick-or-treaters? Well, here in Vermont, the answer to that question probably depends on where you live.

If you live outside of a town on a back road, like Deb Rickner, who lives in Monkton, it’s been a while since you’ve seen a trick-or-treater.

“Honestly, I can’t be sure,” she said. “Because we leave candy on the porch and go elsewhere.” One year, Rickner said, her mother stayed home to hand out candy, and only one person came.

Rickner said her kids have always wanted to go where there’s lots of candy. Though her children are too old for trick-or-treating now, in the past they’ve gone to Bristol, which she describes as the classic Halloween experience. "Halloween Central", she says.

Still, the Halloween preparations go on, she buys candy, which her family then eats, and she decorates her house, both inside and out. And she doesn’t begrudge parents for taking their kids to another town.

“It’s a lot of fun to go someplace where you can just run from house to house. And part of the reason for going trick or treating is to see all of the other costumes,” she said.

But what’s it like to live in one of those neighborhoods that hosts scores and scores of those trick-or-treaters? Jeremy Holt was unaware of the trick-or-treating reputation his Middlebury neighborhood had until after he moved there, and when he told his brother who lives in Vancouver about it, his brother had one response.

“He asked, ‘You are giving out full-sized candy bars, right?’ And I said, ‘No, not that I know of.’ And he said, ‘Well, you’ve got to do it right.'" His brother promised to take care of it.

Soon after, a couple hundred full-sized candy bars arrived at Holt’s house. “Everything from like Snickers to Kit Kats, and older stuff like Pop Rocks and Fun Dip,” Holt explained. “Believe it or not, within 10 minutes, parents were coming by and saying, ‘You’re the most popular house on the block, just so you know.” They gave out every single piece.

This year, Holt’s brother tripled the amount of candy he sent. “He said as long as we live on South Street, he’s going to keep being the benefactor for this operation.”

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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