It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (No, not that time – it’s way too early to think about our winter holidays just yet; as I write this, it’s 79º in Gulfport – at 9 a.m.)
Those of you who know me understand that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. At our house right now, we have various skeletons scattered throughout our home, a spider-bedazzled wreath on our front door, and a centerpiece made of shells and eyeballs (not real eyeballs, and, for that matter, not real spiders). Preparations are underway for our annual Peep-O-Ween, a somewhat bizarre custom we have with some friends involving recreating scary movie scenes with a cake adorned with Peeps®, a supremely bad scary movie (think Sharknado, but without the acting talent or high production values), and my ever-suffering dachshund in a costume (Calypso is going to rock her octopus costume.)
It’s probably an understatement that I believe Halloween should be a big deal. Trick-or-treating seems to have fallen out of fashion, unless your neighborhood goes all out, like Old Northeast, or Crescent Heights (shout out to the home with a giant spider web stretching from the roof to the fence.) Trunk-or-treat or Gulfport’s Trick-or-Treat Trail entices kids and offers parents some reassurances about safety. The City of Gulfport does a great job offering kids a safe way to enjoy Halloween.
Last year, they added one more – they sponsored the Gabber’s first-ever Halloweendows, a Halloween-themed windows painting contest in Gulfport. Shops offered their window space, and kids showed up to paint their Halloween vision on those windows. Winners in each age group won cash. This year, the city again sponsors this kid-and-art-friendly contest. The parents get free coffee at Stella’s, and every registered kid gets breakfast there, too. Once again, winners in each category get cash prizes.
It’s no secret Gulfport has a disproportionate number of talented artists, but even if your kiddo might not be the next Rembrandt, why not bring them out and let them make some art? It’s fun, it’s free and I’ve yet to meet a kid who would turn down pancakes.
Please note: due to limited window space, you must register for Halloweendows by Friday at 5 p.m.