Growing up in a small town has its blessings and curses. As a child you get used to never being able to get away with anything because guaranteed before you get home your mom would already know whatever misbehavior you had committed through the gossip grapevine. She would be well aware of the misdeed and ready to have you pick your own switch for the spanking you undoubtedly deserved.
One of the things I loved most as a kid was small town holidays, everyone in the neighborhood gathering together to celebrate, eat and just enjoy the company! While Liberty County is definitely not as small as I remember it being, having grown so much in the last 20 years, we still have pockets of small town life that bring back some of my fondest childhood memories. And as an adult I now get to help make those memories for my own son and the children of my friends and family.
So here’s my top 10 ways to make sure you have the best Halloween soiree fit for all the little ghosts and goblins sure to come your way.
- Pick the right date for your party! Be sure to check your local community calendar to see what day Trick or Treating will be on. Different communities often pick different days, trying to work around weekdays, school days and other special events. For example, Halloween this year is on a Tuesday and while Hinesville will be celebrating that day in their neighborhoods, on Isle of Wight we will be Trick or Treating the Saturday before, taking advantage of no school and no work for most people.
- Plan your menu. Depending on how many adults and kids you expect you can do an easy breezy round of hotdogs and hamburgers or get more complex and plan on something fun like a taco bar complete with Pinterest-worthy add-ons like cobweb cheese shreds and tomato eye balls. Depending on the weather I enjoy making a good pot of homemade chili to go along with the hamburgers and hotdogs. It’s also nice to spread the food costs around and get everyone to bring an item like buns, chips, drinks, etc. If you are having alcohol remember to tell your guests to BYOB.
- Arrange for hay, a truck and trailer. I always get hay to decorate the entrance to the house and the day of the party we just grab that and throw it on the back of the trailer for everyone to sit on during the hayride around the island. Hay is really not a pricey item for decoration or seating either, you’d think it would be, but in fact you can typically get a bale for $4-$5.
- Invite your guests! In this day of Facebook events and invites that is pretty much the easiest way to invite people, track who is coming and be able to plan. Remember thought that Granny may not be the most Facebook savvy and be sure to give her a buzz with a personal invite just for her.
- Grab the stuff for a few fun kid friendly fall activities. Things like bobbing for apples and s’mores are super inexpensive and will keep the kiddos occupied for a while until it is dark enough to head out for candy collection.
- Be sure to charge the batteries for your flashlights and have a few extra bags or pillowcases for candy collection. Inevitably someone will need to borrow a bag for getting all the goodies and the flashlight is good for navigating all of the getting on/off the trailer.
- Decorate the food table. I always have the most fun laying out the orange tablecloth, embroidered with spider webs, pulling out the fall dishes and getting the table set buffet style for people to be able to grab what they want to eat and enjoy.
- Grab a few extra single folks or ask some of those with kids to plan to stay back and man the fort during the hayride so that the kids who come to your house expecting candy still have someone to greet them. Be sure to buy plenty of candy and toss it in your favorite candy bowl, all ready for those who may stop by. Don’t worry about getting too much, you can always send gift bags home with your party guests.
- Plan something for after the hayride/candy collection. Do you want all of those kids running around your house, probably not. Can they play hide and seek outside in the dark, of course! Just make sure you put them in an area that you can control and not close to a busy road. This also helps keep your little ones in the midst of the trick or treating action if other folks are still out Trick or Treating.
- Take lots of photos! These are the moments to cherish, not the ones with the surly 11 year old who drives you crazy regularly. Remembering how much you have enjoyed the planning and execution of the party will bring you lots of fond memories to last you until Thanksgiving!
-Leah Poole, CEO for the Liberty County CVB & Liberty County Chamber of Commerce
The Right Blend Blog is written by two different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each writes about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.