Spooky, scary, sweet activities abound this week

ADDISON COUNTY — Although many of the area’s major Halloween-themed community events were scheduled over this past weekend, a number of other activities sprinkled around the county remain to be enjoyed by residents both young and old.
One such event is specifically designed to be enjoyed by seniors. The Champlain Valley Agency on Aging has scheduled what it is calling a “Special Halloween Meal” and party at the Bridport Grange Hall on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
This occasion, open to residents 60 and older, offers a menu of baked ham (carved on site), baked beans, coleslaw, brown bread, and pumpkin custard. According to CVAA, costumes are “encouraged but not required.” CVAA is asking for a donation of $4 from attendees, who may call Addison County Transit Resources for free transportation at 388-1946. Those interested may call CVAA to reserve a spot at the table at (800) 642-5119, extension 615.
Next up is what United Church of Lincoln organizers are calling a Halloween “safari” at the church on Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon. As well as “delicious goodies,” that event will offer flu shots and blood pressure checks.
As well as suggesting that residents get their winter tires on their cars given the inevitability of snow any time now, organizers of the Lincoln event also had some sound advice for all:
“Please drive very carefully on Halloween evening and night. There will be many ghosts, goblins, witches, werewolves, princesses, etc., out trick-or-treating all around the center of town. Parents — please make sure your precious little ones can see well and be seen clearly.”
Three town libraries are also getting into the Halloween act. From 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Monkton’s Russell Memorial Library will offer children in Halloween costumes not only a treat, but also a free book, while supplies last. The librarians suggest parents “treat your child to the gift of reading.”
At 5 p.m., the Salisbury Free Public Library will host its annual Halloween pizza party in the library. All trick-or-treaters are invited to come have pizza and cider before starting out on their quests for treats.
Middlebury’s Ilsley Library will host the Speak Up! Addison County self-advocacy group’s annual Halloween party from 5 to 7 p.m. The free event will include a costume contest, games and music. The organization is providing meat and is asking guests to bring something to share.
Two trunk-based events begin at 5:30 p.m., one dubbed “Trunk or Treat” and the other “Trick or Trunk.” Let the debate begin.
The Friends of Leicester Central School will hold their third annual “Trunk or Treat” event for the children of the Leicester community on Halloween beginning at 5:30 p.m. Organizers late last week were still seeking those who would like to show up with a decorated trunk or donate treats for the expected turnout of about 150 children. Those who are interested may contact Heather LaPorte at 247-8187.
At the same hour, members of the Middlebury United Methodist Church will be waiting with decorated trunks and free goodies for trick-or-treaters in their “Trick or Trunk” happening. Cider and donuts will also be available in the Fellowship Hall of the church, which is at the corner of North Pleasant and Seminary streets.
From 4:45 to 6 p.m., Middlebury College ID holders can sample “Mummies, Monsters, and Houses of the Dead: A Flashlight Tour of the Middlebury College Museum of Art,” an event that was open to the general public this past Saturday.
Participants will have only flashlights to guide them during what is described as “an after-hours tour of the creepy and fantastical arts of the tomb, in the Museum’s Antiquities and Asian galleries, followed by a walk to the Mummy’s grave in West Cemetery.” As well as flashlights, tour-takers will also receive cider and doughnuts.
For those who have not seen enough people dressed up in costumes, the Town Hall Theater is offering Halloween evening entertainment, a big-screen film of a live production of “Macbeth” starring and directed by English star of stage and screen Kenneth Branagh. The production, which has been described in the British press as “superbly realised, thrilling and chilling,” will screen at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults, $10 for students.
Finally, on Friday, the Vermont Folklife Center is hosting the second annual Middlebury celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the center’s headquarters at 88 Main St. in Middlebury.
According to a press release, Día de los Muertos is “a Mexican cultural celebration that honors friends and relatives who have passed on. The celebration traditionally includes food and music, and focuses around family and community altars built out of remembrance of lost loved ones. The Día de los Muertos altar typically features photographs, drawings, specialized decorative objects, traditional cakes and sweets, and other offerings of food.”
The occasion will offer homemade Mexican food, an altar constructed by Irma Valeriano of the University of Vermont, and a performance of Mexican Banda music by the Burlington band Brass Balagan. (Construction of the altar will take place in the afternoon of Oct. 31, and visitors are asked to join in or ask questions.) The event is free and open to the public, but donations would be appreciated.
According to the folklife center, Día de los Muertos serves as “a time for celebration of family and as a community gathering. We host this celebration annually to provide the local Mexican farm worker community with an opportunity to maintain vital ties to their living cultural traditions. In addition, this event serves as a cross-cultural opportunity for Vermonters to learn about the traditional practices of migrant farm workers from Mexico living in Vermont.” 

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