I grew up in the 70s – a time when five and dimes lined downtown streets and a kid could head out on their bike and not be expected home until dinner.
A time when my biggest worry was whether to let my mom cut a couple of holes in an old sheet or beg her to buy me a plastic Wonder Woman costume and mask again for Halloween.
I spent the better part of those Halloween nights following the sidewalks through our neighborhood with my friends… carrying my pillowcase full of candy, going door to door, saying those famous words, but not having a clue what kind of trick I would play if they didn’t comply.
Some years our moms made us wear winter coats, totally ruining our scary effect… other years we made it through the evening with a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt underneath… but we always came home with a ton of candy and smiles as big as the holiday itself.
It was so long ago now, I don’t remember the names of those friends or what kind of loot we reeled in, but both are still wrapped up in some of my best childhood memories.
That’s what we’re trying to recreate with Colby’s Downtown Trick or Treat. When more than 700 hundred kids traipse through downtown Colby at the end of this month, we want them to go home with more than just candy. We want them to have fantastic memories of traipsing through downtown Colby with their friends and family, all while experiencing the feeling of being part of a vibrant community that was a crucial part of their growing up years.
Sometimes events aren’t so much about the immediate effect, but about long-term benefits… the great memories that turn into open doors and long-term customer relationships. Like the memories of the generations before us had of buying school clothes at McDonalds Clothing Store, hanging out at Fredericks Drug Store’s soda fountain, enjoying a donut from Foss’ Bakery or grabbing some beer and chili at Swede’s.
Someday this generation will look back on their days of trick or treating in downtown Colby. They’ll remember the crowds of kids, the sweet treats they hauled home and the strong sense of community… and they’ll tell their kids and grandkids about Palace Drug and Sunflower Bank, Colby Furniture and Dr. Sam and all of the other great businesses in Colby who helped make their holidays so special.