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Snow foils Halloween plans


​St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School students Brody Arthur and Will Mason receive candy from Bloomington resident David Brenneman on Oct. 31 on South Dunn Street. There were fewer trick-or-treaters than usual on the street. Anna Brown

The first white flakes fell in the early afternoon, and, like the threads of a delicate children’s costume, the perfect Halloween began to fray at the edges.

It was the coldest day since spring and the first snowfall of the year. Over in Spencer, Indiana, 15 miles away, trick-or-treating was postponed until Saturday. But in Bloomington, the city insisted that Halloween commence.

Just before 6 p.m., Sadie Glass posted on her Facebook moms’ group:

"Ways to talk my kids out of Trick-or-treating? And go!"

All manner of bribe was contemplated and dismissed, and a meme encouraged the moms to suck it up and parent like it was 1984. Their moms would have trailed them in the station wagon with a cigarette and a wine cooler, for crying out loud.

So after 30 minutes of heated debate between Sadie and her 5-year-old, Maren, Sadie was zipping a coat over a mermaid costume.

Maren doesn’t like to wear coats because she gets too hot. But Sadie reminded her, multiple times, that she didn’t have an option. Wear the coat, or we aren’t going.

At another house, Jennifer Brown colored her 2-year-old’s hair green and then pulled a hat down over it. She dug out yellow Pooh gloves for the first time since last winter and placed them on Anne’s small fingers. They didn’t match the Grinch outfit.

Over on South Dunn Street, always a Halloween hot spot, traffic was steady.

Before dark, Jordyn Carey was hanging cotton spiderwebs on her porch as snow clung to the white fibers. The temperature was 35 degrees and falling.

Moms and dads carried mugs of coffee. One house passed out adult beverages. A boy in a crocodile onesie told his mom, “Too bad we didn’t bring gloves.”

Across town at College Mall, kids could wear costumes without restraint. But a line stretched from Azzip Pizza to Claire’s, and the candy was passed out one piece at a time.

Megan Roberts waited with her four kids in line at Macy’s only for the candy to run out before her family reached the front. Roberts ended up buying more Kit Kats, Skittles, M&Ms and Nerds from Target and passing out the extra pieces to other kids.

The last time Bloomington postponed the door-to-door candy exchange was in 2013, when gale winds posed a safety concern, spokesperson Yael Ksander said. This year the city decided that while it was cold enough for little ones to bundle up, it was not cold enough to move the date.

Candy is the only reason her two kids had enough stamina to walk door-to-door in 30 mile per hour winds, Sadie Glass said.

When they returned home and the candy had been set up for trading, Maren told her mom that Almond Joy was the worst candy, but she still wouldn’t give it up.

“All candy is valuable,” the 5-year-old said. 

Right around bedtime, the temperature hit the freezing point. Sadie was just happy to be home.

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