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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 9:24 am | Fair 58º


Judy Foreman: Kids, Adults Alike Find Happy Haunting on Ghost Village Road

Montecito’s spook-tacular, 20th annual extravaganza takes over Coast Village Road for an afternoon of tricks and treats

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It does not seem possible that Ghost Village Road In Montecito could get any bigger than last year. In spite of a forecast that called for rain, the annual Halloween extravaganza was more popular and well attended than ever.

Celebrating 20 years, the block party hosted by Coast Village Road merchants was once just for little ones and their parents as a daylight opportunity for neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Over the years it’s become the most popular event in the 93108 community, and attracts participants from throughout Santa Barbara.

I was at my traditional post in front of Red Studio and Tony Arroyo’s Los Arroyos with my long-time co-horts, Roxy Solakian and Jano Stack. All three of us raised our children in Montecito, and we were once the younger parents walking them from store to store. Even though our children have grown up, our love of children and the new generations that stop by our table for candy each Halloween has not diminished.

This year, we were so inundated with trick-or-treaters that we had to call up the reserves. Beverlye Fead, Ruthy Green, Connie Smith and Nora Tobin stepped up and took over while Jano, Roxy and I enjoyed margaritas.

Our baskets filled to the brim with candy delights and pretzels, and we ladled out apple juice. We even had a cauldron of dry ice fogging up the place to add to the scary effect. It seems that no matter how much we increase our candy supplies, the crowds of parents, grandparents and kids of all ages just keep coming.

Restaurants such as Cava, Trattoria Mollie and Tre Lune, with their outdoor patios and seating areas, were coveted for spots for people watching. Scoops, meanwhile, held its annual costume contest.

Although most of the merchants’ doors were open for business, the real business of having fun was what was on everyone’s mind.

Second-generation children, like mine, came with their children, and a large crop of newcomers was in abundance, too. Parents joined in the fun, with some families dressing as themes. Super heroes, nerds and characters from the blockbuster movie, Frozen, were everywhere, along with the ever-popular pirates, fairies, ghouls and goblins.

My personal favorites are still the homemade costumes that the children and their parents spend so much time working on. The innocence of the kids and the lighthearted ambience seemed a perfect antidote to some of the heavier news of the age.

The cliché “a good time was had by all” still holds up, and my guess is that Ghost Village Road will maintain its popularity and continue to bring joy each Halloween as a kick-off to the holiday season. It was so much fun my face hurts from smiling.

— 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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