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Chenango Canal Association, Inc.
an all-volunteer 501 (c) 3 nonprofit
Publicly encouraging research for the preservation of the canal, surrounding waters and land,
while maintaining it as both an historic and public recreation site.

2015 Cottage Museum 250pxw Cottage Museum

Halloween Happenin’ October 19, 2013          Photos =>

When everything seemed to go wrong in planning and setting up the Halloween Happenin’ for October 19th on the Chenango Canal, it topped off with a drizzle of rain that wasn't supposed to start until after 2 am.

It drizzled and drizzled but people kept coming with their children in costume for the Costume Contest and to take part in the Clues Hunt. By the time 7 pm came along, we couldn’t close down because of the numbers of people waiting to walk the Haunted Trail.

People walked in groups with ‘an old witch’ played by Sharon Stevens from Earlville. Sharon carried a lantern and told stories about people in the cemetery they passed and warned them that not everyone would be on the return walk home! Her ‘witch’ daughter-in-law Sam accompanied them and lively haunters from Madison Central School, Trish Coon, CCA board member Mary Bikowsky, my back-door neighbors John and Brenda Thorna and Neil Cass (I’ll never walk my dog at night again) dressed in scary costumes and were convincing enough to make people jump and scream.

We handed out 100 generous packs of candy from Kountry Kupboard and another 50 from Price Chopper and ran out. This didn’t even count the adults!

We gave out six gallons of Beak ‘N Skiff cider from Byrne Dairy, 300 munchkins from Dunkin Donuts and prizes from the Colgate Bookstore and the CCA for completing the new Clues Hunt written by Helen Lundt. Madison-Oneida BOCES and the Madison County Youth Bureau willingly contributed ideas for our success.

Valley Propane donated $100 to buy 50 pumpkins and the CCA purchased another 50 at a big discount from Waterman’s Farm, Mosher’s Farm and various other sources. The Clean Water Coalition took half of them back to the Colgate campus where the art students carved some intricate designs! Another seven of us had a pumpkin carving party at the Thorna’s barn, with another neighbor, Sue Yott carving on her own time.

The jack-o-lanterns were on display on totem poles, on the trail and in back of the Cottage Museum. They looked spectacular with the orange lights in the trees behind them. David Van Slyke, my son from Baldwinsville and Fran Van Slyke my husband, spent three days re-wiring the lights and repairing damage done from the pouring rain we had the week before the event. The Oriskany Falls Rotary Club helped with the set-up with Dr. Nathan Keever pounding in dozens of stakes to support the fairy tale characters.

Barb Mario from Stockwell and Helen Lundt gave out prizes for the Costume Contest and Clues Hunt in the beautifully decorated Canal Cottage Museum, a safe haven from the rain.

Dick Gillette, a former CCA board member from Earlville took pictures of children in costumes and their parents (some of whom dressed up, too)! We will post a selection of them on A big thank you goes to the press for all the coverage we got and to Terry Signs for updating our road signs.

All of this was in a continuous drizzle and a steady flow of people when the ground fault tripped the lights and we were in total darkness; closed down by an ‘unseen hand’ a little early, but still a successful Halloween Happenin’!

Diane Van Slyke, President
Chenango Canal Association                       [Back to top]