LB Halloween Memories


Carter Horan

Living life in the Village of Lake Bluff creates bonds for young children and their families. From spending hours at Artisan Park to floating aimlessly around Sunrise Beach, children in LB share memories that separate them from their high school classmates. Of course, the village is most notably known for its 4th of July parade, yet other events are under-looked. The traditions of Halloween in Lake Bluff have created some of my favorite childhood memories that I’ll hold onto forever.

The madness begins at 3:30 pm. Students race home to get prepared for the long night ahead. All dressed up in their wildest costumes, Bluffers rip off their worn pillowcases and begin the hunt. The best strategy is to start with houses nearby. Working your way from house to house, it won’t take long to make your way downtown. I always remember searching for bowls like a hungry raccoon. By this I mean, the majority of parents go with their children to trick-or-treat, and if you’re lucky, some will leave a full bowl of candy for kids to take while they’re gone. If you and your friends found a bowl filled to the brim… the sticky note reading “Take one please!” won’t stop anyone from dumping the entire bowl into their pillowcase.

Downtown Lake Bluff on Halloween night is just as special as the annual tree-lighting. Families travel from all over the North Shore to go door-to-door with their little ones. East Center is packed with everyone in costumes; from dads wearing their decade-old Derek Lee jerseys to infants jammed in the classic Buzz Lightyear suit, it’s a fun night for everybody. The Lake Bluff Police Station is known for serving over 1,500 free hot dogs every year as a “quick bite” before the kids get back to work. And if you’ve ever trick-or-treated in LB, I can guarantee that you’ve made a stop at the Carollo household just beside the Police Station. I caught up with Mrs. Carollo who buys 1,800 pieces of candy to give out every year. She estimates that they’ve had over 1,500 kids ring their doorbell in the past three years. She talked about some traditions they have on Halloween night. “As you know, if you’re over 12 years old, Mr. Carollo asks you to sing a song for candy.” For some, Halloween means watching Charlie Brown, but for the Carollo family it means three long hours of diligent work.

Officially, trick-or-treating ends at 7:00 pm; it’s finally time to head home. One of the most memorable moments is finally dumping out your pillowcase and the end of the night. After sorting out favorites, everyone would always bring massive bags of candy to school the next day. But this candy wasn’t for them to keep, but for them to donate to less fortunate kids who don’t get the opportunity to celebrate the holiday. Lake Bluff schools have done an incredible job of encouraging students to donate a portion of their candy and making it a contest among classes to see who can donate the most.

So for the young Bluffers preparing for tonight’s events, put that phone away and enjoy the moment because one day it’ll all be gone.