Digesting Halloween and a boatload of chili

Michael Boylan's picture

Halloween was a over week ago, but the candy that little Colin amassed will be with us for a long time to come. If you love candy (and who doesn’t?), slap a monkey costume on a toddler and watch the goodies come rolling in.

Halloween started a little early for us. We took Colin to The Avenue in Peachtree City and Main Street Fayetteville for their Halloween events on the Saturday before. It happened to be Georgia - Florida that day, too, but it just shows how much I have grown that I didn’t really care that I didn’t see every minute. It was great to see my little trick or treater in action, saying please and thank you and hoarding these little bags of brightly colored candy bones.

Both events were really neat and well-attended. I just wish the decorated pumpkins weren’t across the street around the old courthouse.

Halloween itself was a blast. We went over to my mom’s house in Peachtree City because we don’t trick or treat in our neighborhood. Typically, the only kids who do trick or treat there are older kids who tend not to dress up. If you can’t get in the spirit of the holiday, I can’t be bothered to decorate or hand out candy. This year, there was a Halloween party for their neighborhood kids in my mom’s cul de sac and it was awesome. People brought pot luck dishes and all the kids were dressed up playing games. It was just really nice and it was a good way to meet the neighbors and their kids.

After the party, we loaded Colin and our niece, Brianna, who was dressed as a ladybug, into a wagon and started the official trick or treating. Colin rang the bell at the first house we went to and, when nobody responded immediately, started knocking on the door, asking “Anybody home?” A gentleman soon came to the door with candy in hand, stating, “You’re quite a loud one.” It was one of several mildly embarrassing moments to come.

At the next few houses, Colin would repeat his ringing and then knocking process, and if someone happened to be outside on their porch waiting with their candy, Colin would ring the bell anyway, just to make it official. Despite eating a slew of candy, he started to wear down a bit, so we packed him up and headed over to trick or treat at my dad’s house. All the grandparents have to see Colin is his costume, after all. There was more candy eating and shouts of trick or treat, despite not trick or treating anymore, until we went home and Colin (mercifully) crashed.

And then came the day I had been waiting all year for - the day of the Great Chili Challenge.

I am not kidding.

This annual event is quite possibly my favorite local event of the year. For a small fee, you get a plastic spoon, some napkins, a tiny pencil and a piece of paper to vote for the best chili in attendance. People from all over the area bring big, bubbling pots of chili to Shakerag Knoll and the chili ranges from meaty to super-spicy.

This year’s event was quite possibly the best since the days where it used to be held in Aberdeen Village. It seemed like there were more booths this year and the chili, overall, was great. While there were more duds than in the past (and no, I won’t name names), there were a lot of tough choices to make on the ballot.

It was awesome and I was full for hours. Mark your calendars for next year. I don’t know what day it will be held, but circle all Saturdays in November.

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