Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 8:19 pm | Fog/Mist 61º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Judy Foreman: Montecito’s Ghost Village Road Halloween Celebration Is Scary Good

Trick-or-treaters — and their parents — don the cleverest of costumes in annual candy collection

For Montecito’s annual Ghost Village Road extravaganza, the elaborate and clever costumes are just as important as the trick-or-treating. Click to view larger
For Montecito’s annual Ghost Village Road extravaganza, the elaborate and clever costumes are just as important as the trick-or-treating. (Judy Foreman / Noozhawk photo via iPhone)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Other neighborhoods may be popular haunts for trick-or-treaters, but no one does Halloween for families better than Montecito’s Coast Village Road business owners.

The time has flown by since the merchants first came up with the idea of Ghost Village Road, a Halloween experience for the little ones — and their parents — who were apprehensive about trick-or-treating on the dark streets of Montecito.

The concept caught on almost immediately. Now, more than two decades later, kids of all ages and parents from all neighborhoods of the South Coast descend in droves on Coast Village Road every fall.

Many of the original business owners are no longer there, but the Petersons’ Scoop still has a popular costume contest. This year, the Montecito Inn’s beloved haunted house was not available because of construction in the hotel, but it didn’t put a damper on the festivities.

The newest businesses — like Whistle Club, ARA Collection, Honor Bar, Viva Oliva and Ivivva athletic wear for girls — stepped up with loads of treats and were clearly delighted to be part of the neighborhood tradition.

On Saturday, I settled in at my favorite people-watching place on the Saltillo-paved patio in front of Red Studio and Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant, which provides diners a steady stream of free, costumed entertainment with their enchiladas.

As a longtime Coast Village Road landlord myself, I may be biased about my choice of vantage points, but I still get a real kick out of handing out candy and seeing the now all-grown-up children of my friends out trick-or-treating with their own kids.

With parents four deep on the sidewalks and crowding coveted outdoor dining   spots up and down Coast Village Road, the throngs were enjoying themselves immensely.

Thanks to the evening’s warm and balmy temperatures, there was no need for jackets to cover-up the costumes. It’s a good thing, too, because every year the costumes just get better and better.

I didn’t notice any prevailing themes this year, but witches, princesses, Harry Potter and other perennial favorites were everywhere. Even a few pooches got in the act with skeleton costumes and masks.

My favorite participants, though, are the parents who get into the Halloween spirit by dressing up along with their kids, as well as the littlest trick-or-treaters getting their first taste of candy and camaraderie.

The Ghost Village Road block party continues to exceed expectations and deliver the biggest smiles to everyone’s faces.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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