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Kalaru nails new Halloween tradition, informs discussion, builds community

By Ian Campbell 6 November 2018 0
Trunk or Treat at Evans Park Kalaru. Photos: Carmen Risby.

Trunk or Treat at Evans Park Kalaru. Photos: Carmen Risby.

Like it or loathe it, Halloween is increasingly becoming part of young Australian families’ celebrations on October 31.

One Bega Valley community has trialed a way of managing the American side of this tradition that answers some of the concerns parents have and brings the community together; it appears to have been a success.

The residents of Kalaru, between Bega and Tathra, invited gremlins, ghouls, and ghosts of all ages to ‘Trunk or Treat‘ at the new sporting oval being developed in the village.

The event was promoted as safe trick or treating for all the family.

People were asked to decorate their car, drive into Evans Park and enjoy an evening with friends and family.

An entry fee of $5 per car went to the Evans Park Sporting Complex Committee, raising much-needed funds to realise the vision for this space.

Around 90 cars turned out, displacing the resident kangaroos for a short time, while kids went car to car rather than door to door hoping for a sweet treat.

The money raised will be directed towards a new amenities block taking shape on the site.

The Bega Lions Club were on hand with their famous BBQ, with prizes from a number of local businesses to help recognise the fancy dress trouble people went to.

In response to Genevieve Jacobs’ article ‘Is Halloween only about the marketing?‘ some commentators to About Regional were looking for a comfortable way to accommodate the growing interest in Halloween.

Bronwyn Wright says, “I think kids enjoy the costume side of it. This event [Trunk or Treat] gives kids the opportunity to dress up and have fun. If Australians took this way of celebrating the original Celtic Festival – it would become a fun event of our own. One or two car boots could be filled with donations of unwanted goods for charity or to support a local group. We can do it Our Way!”

Star-strom Beth writes, “I lived in the northern hemisphere for 15 years, the Hallows Eve celebrations make total sense. The bringing together of a community before the winter brings darkness and cold. It also celebrates the harvest when they can be afforded a feast. Taking some traditions from our ancestors and adapting them to our modern times is necessary but do we have to do it with so much plastic?”

Vickie Goldsmith says, “Polarising! On one hand, fun and excitement for children, a sense of community as they door knock and joy for adults who enjoy sharing. On the other a backflip of logic as we ask children to knock on a strangers door and ask for sweets. Like Christmas, many families will be able to find a way to give reverence to this time of year.”

Andrew Moore, “It’s how I remember my brother’s birthday who’s name is Ian and birthday is 31st October so I remember him. I have chocolates at home just in case children knock on the door who are having fun for Halloween otherwise it’s just another day apart from my brother’s birthday.”

Mica Mahani, writes “In this day and age I think we should be more waste aware. I wonder how much Halloween contributes to landfill. It’s a very wasteful celebration, from lollie wrappers to gluttony and excess, to tacky plastic decorations. As it stands it’s bad for the planet. Otherwise, it’s pretty harmless.”

Others are more black and white in their comments to About Regional.

Doug Reckord writes, “Given our eagerness to shuffle mindlessly along with anything American, the presence of zombies is very appropriate.”

Terry Lyn Carson, “Load of rubbish.”

Wendy Jay says, “I’ve had kids come to my door unexpectedly and scare the wits out of me with their horrible outfits and behaviour, then leave by jumping all over the place and off my balcony in all directions. I don’t appreciate it. In fact, I hate it.”

Veronica Abbott writes, “Nope, don’t do anything, it means nothing. And it’s a bit ridiculous to celebrate a harvest festival in spring.”

There is no denying Halloween is now part of the Australian calendar, what ideas do you have for giving it some context, meaning, and Australian flair?

The Kalaru community is leading the way.

Original Article published by Ian Campbell on About Regional.


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