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Hallowe'en fest returns to Woodstock

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - At The Joinery, lovely Witchiepoo Wendy Weaver serves up treats to green dragon Nico Allison, Jeanna Nicotera, and David Allison, on their way to the Woodstock Community Center Halloween party.After a year’s pause, Woodstock was again the place to be on Hallowe’en evening, October 31.

It started for costumed kids with a “not too spooky” storytime at the Woodstock Branch Library – then a walk along the boulevard, stopping in to get candy and treats from merchants. Finally kids and parents ended up at a party at the Woodstock Community Center, which provided many fun experiences for little trick-or-treaters.

“Months ago, when I was having a table at the Woodside Farmers Market, families came up and said that they would really like to see more activities in the neighborhood for small kids and their families,” said this year’s organizer, Woodstock Neighborhood Association President Becky Luening.

She’d also heard from Ruthann Bedenkop, who is credited with originating the event in 2007, and past organizer, Tom Vice. “They spoke wistfully about the activities, saying it was so much fun. It seemed like something the neighborhood could really get behind.”

Supporting that notion, Luening said, several families with young children had started to attend the Woodstock Neighborhood Association meetings lately, and had expressed their support.

Although Luening and Elisa Edgington were the primary organizers, on the day of the event volunteers Merrilee Spence, Janet Kneedler, Terry Griffiths, and perennial “Popcorn Witch” Virginia Peterson appeared – along with many others.

With the support and encouragement of the Woodstock Community Business Association (WCBA), businesses and organizations in the area opened their doors and supported the afternoon with gifts and sponsorships – as Luening pointed out, on a poster listing 32 sponsors and participants

“And, we’re thankful for the food provided at the Community Center by Mezza, Otto's, Tom Yum, First Cup, Papaccino's, Safeway, US Bank, New Seasons, Lewis School, and the Woodstock Neighborhood Association.”

Some 300 kids circulated through the Community Center, playing games, doing crafts, enjoying a snack, with most of them having their photo taken by Michael Gary Photography.

It was a Woodstock evening with many treats – and no tricks.