Halloween Traditions Continue on Huguenot Street

Some pumpkins sported ornate carvings and art, like this one that depicts a dragon.

As the years go by, it’s typical for holidays to lose the way they once felt when you were younger. If there’s one thing that the town of New Paltz does right, it’s Halloween. From carefully decorated storefronts, elaborate costumes and years of traditions, the village provides the spooky feeling that’s craved during the autumn months.  

While walking down New Paltz’s Main Street on Oct. 31, you’re greeted with hundreds of people dressed in elaborate costumes. Local restaurants offered more than just candy; La Charla dazzled the crowd with complimentary hot chocolate and fresh bread and Kon Tiki provided bags of assorted chips and cookies. 

After a two-year hiatus, Huguenot Street’s Halloween Trick-or-Treat event has made its comeback this year with a stunning outcome. Children and families gathered at Huguenot Street in anticipation of treats from local community members and explored the historic buildings of the street. A balanced treat was provided from the New Paltz Rotary Club ­— a fresh apple accompanied by a full-size Hershey’s bar. While enjoying the treats, the Mid-Hudson Juggling Club put on a stellar performance as they carefully juggled various objects between them. It was quite a sight to see as the sun set on the town, and anticipation for the annual Halloween parade grew.

“I feel that the event went really well,” remarked Kara Augustine, Director of Public Programming at Historic Huguenot Street. “It was our first time having trick-or-treat since 2019, so it was great to have the community back … the turnout for the parade was amazing, we especially appreciate the New Paltz High School marching band and the Mid-Hudson Juggling Club for their performances.”

As opposed to previous years, this year the parade’s final destination was Huguenot Street, which allowed for the community to view the pumpkins on display from The Bakery’s Night of 100 Pumpkins. “The history of the site plays a major part in that magic as well,” Augustine explained. “Once you step foot on Huguenot Street, you instantly become a part of the site’s history. That significance is felt throughout the 10 acres. You know you’re a part of something special when you’re there.” The popular contest has participants creating a pumpkin in a given category. The winners are decided and placed on display, which were easily viewed following the parade.

“We ended up having 35 pumpkin submissions,” Augustine described. “We’re hoping to have 100 next year now that people know that it’s been moved.”

These wonderful events would not have been possible without the help of many different individuals, and are another reason that the community of New Paltz is so helpful towards each other. “Thank you to the volunteers that support this year’s event, including members of the SUNY New Paltz Cheer Team, Wallkill View Farm and Devitt’s Nursery, who donated the fall decor … the businesses that donated bags of candy to our trick or treat event, and the community members who made monetary donations to help fund the $1,000 worth of candy that is needed to put this event on,” Augustine exclaimed. 

Hopefully next year, more participants will enter The Bakery’s Night of 100 Pumpkins and the parade will feature even more support from local businesses and organizations. In every event held in this charming town, it’s evident how abundant the sense of community is to each local resident. From providing bountiful treats for trick-or-treaters to sharing a friendly smile with spectators of the parade, the feeling of inclusivity for everyone involved is shared among every attendee. Halloween is truly a remarkable day to be a resident of New Paltz, and it’s very heartwarming to look forward to another year of celebration next autumn.

As of Nov. 1, the Historic Huguenot Street Visitor Center guided house tours are limited to Saturdays and Sundays only, which is usual for this time of year. In the coming months there will be various holiday events featured for the community beginning Dec. 3.

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About Samantha Salerno 49 Articles
Samantha (Sam) Salerno is a third-year performing arts major who has a passion for writing. This is her third semester on The Oracle. She spent the majority of her summer working for the publication, Fire Island News. You can reach her by emailing salernos2@newpaltz.edu.

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