Despite superstorm Sandy's best efforts, Hampden's Halloween festivities this year would not be derailed. Postponed, sure, but not canceled.
So instead of the annual Hampden festival taking place Oct. 31, it took place the following Saturday, Nov. 3. And the change in time seemed to have very little impact on the turnout of trick-or-treaters or those entering in the costume contest.
The winners this year, by age group and category, are:
Ages 2 and Under: Adrianna Torres as a Scarecrow (Funniest), Bryn Brown as a Lamb (Prettiest) and Mason Morgan as Navy Ship Captain (Most Original).
Ages 3-4: Bennet Seaveris-Peale as Muffin Man (Funniest), Chase Meyers as Little Brown Teddy Bear (Prettiest) and Zachary Brown as Fireman and Firetruck (Most Original).
Ages 5-6: Seth Worley as Gator (Funniest), Thalia Torres as Rock Star Witch (Prettiest), Glen Grube as Slam-Bam Yeti (Most Original).
Ages 7-8: Cheyenne Lazo as Pizza Hut Chef (Funniest), Jade Nelson as Flower Basket (Prettiest), Vincent Wolk as Dalek from Dr. Who (Most Original).
Ages 9-10: Audrey Murray as Troll (Funniest), Gabby Weaver as Doll (Prettiest), Annabella Rodriguez as Gumball Machine (Most Original).
Ages 11-12: Webster Lehmann as Zombie (Funniest), Olivia Ward as Dark Fairy (Prettiest), Phillips Dubois as Old Lady (Most Original).
Ages 13-17: Jessica Gibbs as Rock Star (Prettiest)and Victoria Lee as Pebbles from the Flintstones (Most Original).
Ages 18 and Older: Christopher Hicks as King Arthur (Most Original).
With Halloween behind us, we now begin the ramping up for Christmas in Hampden, which to folks new to the area, I should warn you, is kind of a big deal. We're kinda known for Christmas. Santa Claus comes to us for holiday advice.
On Saturday, Nov. 24, Miracle on 34th Street, aka Christmas Street, "The Magical Lights of Hampden," or whatever name you use for the wonderfully over-the-top holiday lights in the 700 block of 34th Street between Chestnut Avenue and Keswick Road, kicks off after sundown.
The lights will shine nightly through the holiday season, culminating with a ball drop and a visit by Baby New Year on Dec. 31.
And don't forget, Nov. 24 is also Small Business Saturday, which is also something Hampden is kinda known for – small businesses.
And speaking of Hampden's small businesses, the Hampden Village Merchants Association will kick off its Hampden Holidays Five First Fridays, every Friday from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21. Businesses ill be staying open late, offering refreshments, sales, special events and more. Participating businesses include 9th Life, Atomic Books, Avenue Antiques/The Ideal, breathe books, Charlotte Elliott and the Bookstore Next Door, doubledutch boutique, Earth Alley, Heartwares, In The Details, In Watermelon Sugar, Kiss N' Make-Up, Milagro, Mud & Metal, Parisian Flea, Sixteen Tons, Studio C Jewelry & Gifts, Sugar and Wholly Terra. For more information, visit http://hampdenmerchants.com/category/events.
And finally, judging for the HVMA Storefront Decorating Contest will take place on Monday, Nov. 26.
Stay tuned. The next installment of this column will also have information about the Mayor's Christmas Parade, holiday parties and Santa on the Avenue.