SHAFTSBURY -- Despite the rain, Shaftsbury families flocked to Cleveland Avenue. on Thursday to take advantage of the one day each year that masked people walking down streets and driveways isn't cause for alarm.
The Town of Shaftsbury partially closed down Cleveland Avenue, which is right off of Church Street in the center of town, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in order to make trick-or-treating safer for the families who braved the rain, which came down very hard at times.
Several deputies from the Bennington County Sheriff's department were on hand for the event. One was helping pedestrians to cross Route 7A, while others were posted at each end of Cleveland Avenue to keep traffic on the road to a minimum.
While most groups were made up of excited, costumed young children and their waterlogged parents, there were some adults and teenagers who dressed up as well. Children happily sloshed through puddle after puddle, which were several inches deep in places along the sidewalk, while parents lagged behind, complaining of ruined shoes and begging their children to slow down.
Knowing that Cleveland Avenue was going to be the focal point of Halloween in Shaftsbury, many of the houses went above and beyond the call of duty in terms of decorations. One house was running a haunted garage, which kids and their parents had to brave in order to get their candy. A costumed man with a shovel leaned out a second story window of the garage, trying to scare unwary children. One young girl was not impressed. "You're a loser!" she happily shouted up at him.
An ambulance was on hand in case of emergency, and the driver was happy to show off all of the lights when a child asked. The child was then further thrilled when the driver offered to show him the back of the ambulance as well.
At one house, a question was posed to all those who came seeking candy. "Red Sox or Yankees?" the homeowner asked. The children who answered correctly were given not one, but two, pieces of candy.
One father, huddling under his umbrella, stood on the sidewalk of one of the first houses on the street as his children got their candy from the front porch. As his children returned, he said "Come on kids, let's get this over with."
"Okay!" his children responded happily, running towards the next house.
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