Center for Environmental Reporting

halloween guy kidby Matt Villano
When it became clear that Healdsburg was downgrading its evacuation status on Halloween, two local women figured most people would miss out on the typical trick-or-treat experience. The women, Elena Halvorsen and Mandy Carpenter, both have kids in the local public school, and both live in the Parkland Farms neighborhood, the northernmost section of town.
(Image: David Reed and his son, Harlan, enjoy hot food at the Healdsburg Hallloween Do-Over in the Parkland Farms neighborhood on Saturday, November 2. Credit: Matt Villano)
This particular neighborhood — it's where I live, too — is famous for how it goes off on Halloween; during a typical year most residents give out 1,000 pieces of candy in just a few hours. Halvorsen and Carpenter thought about how much their own kids (Halvorsen has three; Carpenter has two) like trick-or-treating in the hood, and organized a trick-or-treating do-over for Saturday, November 2. The moms sent out a flier on Facebook and Healdsburg's Mayor, Dave Hagele (who also lives in the neighborhood) offered to help spread the word. Within a few hours, the word was out all over town: Halloween Do-Over in Parkland Farms on Saturday, everyone was welcome.
Listen: Halloween Do-Over Bringing Neighbors Together: 
Other locals decided to sweeten the pot. Ariel Kelley, who is the CEO of Corazon Healdsburg, contacted the folks at José Andrés' World Central Kitchen, and they worked with another regional nonprofit, Nuestra Comunidad, to come and set up in the park to give out free hot dinners. Local police got on-board. Local firefighters agreed to come. Even the manager of the local Safeway got involved, donating more than 200 pounds of leftover candy for the event. The neighborhood braced for a bigger-than-usual crowd.
Hagele, Carpenter and Halvorsen came up with a specific route for trick-or-treaters to walk. The route included three streets: Arabian Way, Latigo Way, and Saddle Draw. The idea was for trick-or-treaters to make a big loop and end at Barbieri Brothers Park at the end of Saddle Draw, where the gang from WCK and Nuestra Comunidad would set up shop.
The festivities started around 4 p.m. Crowds funneled in by 4:30. Residents set up tables in front of their houses with buckets of candy and wine for friends. Folks came from elsewhere, parked on the street, popped open their trunks tailgate-style and set out buckets of candy of their own. A police officer showed up, parked his cruiser at the entrance to Barbieri Brothers Park and distributed candy as well. When the fire engines arrived, everyone stopped what they were doing and clapped. The truck parked at the end of Saddle Draw, across the street from the entrance to Barbieri Brothers Park, and all the kids and parents came running to thank the firefighters in person.
Volunteers from WCK and Nuestra Comunidad started serving potato-Brussels sprouts-chop meat hash around 5 p.m. They also served salad and reusable bottles of water.
volunteer feeding healdsburgAlma Bowen, executive director of Nuestra Comunidad told me her group brought enough food for 400 people and they ran out.
(Image: Alma Bowen, executive director of Nuestra Comunidad, serves free hot dinner to residents of Healdsburg on Saturday, Nov. 2. Credit: Matt Villano)
Listen: Alma Bowen of Nuestra Comunidad on feeding the neighborhood: 
By 6 p.m., the neighborhood was teeming with kids and parents met in the street hugging and pouring each other glasses of wine and beer. Many of these parents were drinking on the street right in front of the aforementioned police officer. There were no open container citations that night; instead, the officer smiled and wished passersby "Happy Halloween" the entire time.
At 6:45 pm, Hagele, an amateur DJ, blasted Halloween music and sponsored a dance party in the street right outside Barbieri Brothers Park. About 150 kids and their parents participated. When the music ended at 7 p.m., Hagele thanked the first responders, thanked the community for participating, and wished everyone a good night. The party wound down around 8 pm, though many neighbors lingered into the evening at afterparties along the trick-or-treat route.
Participants said the event typified the type of community in Healdsburg — a city where everyone looks out for each other and strives to retain the small-town way of life. In all, I estimate about 1,000 people showed up over the course of the night. It was by far the biggest and most memorable Halloween celebration we've ever had.
(Image: The dance party in front of Mayor Dave Hagele's house was a great way for Healdsburg locals to reconnect with each other -- and their community. Credit: Matt Villano)
halloween do over crazy
Pin it

NorCal News

  • covid 19 4960254 1280
    March 03, 2021

    Inching closer to the red tier

    Since August, Sonoma County’s been stuck in the state’s most restrictive tier in terms of COVID-19 recovery. But the possibility of opening up the economy a bit more is finally possible. Sonoma’s one of four Bay Area counties still in the purple tier, according to state guidelines. But because…
  • IMG 7516 2
    March 02, 2021

    Santa Rosa Clears a Large Homeless Encampment

    Dozens of people living in Santa Rosa’s largest homeless encampment were forced to pack up and leave Tuesday morning. It marks Santa Rosas’s second encampment clearance in the past week. Activists showed up before sunrise to protest the clearing of Santa Rosa’s biggest homeless encampment on…
  • syringe 5882594 1280
    February 26, 2021

    County Postpones Vaccine Appointments Due to Scarcity

    Next week, Sonoma County is suspending all first dose vaccine appointments due to supply shortage. But the county will keep second dose appointments for both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Sonoma County has been allocated 7,680 doses for next week, five percent fewer than this week. This…
  • vaccine 5873170 1920
    February 24, 2021

    The County is Nervous about Blue Shield's Vaccine Takeover

    On March 7, Blue Shield of California will start administering Sonoma County’s vaccine rollout. The nonprofit insurer will take over the data collection and decide how many doses each provider receives. They’ll also streamline the sign-up process, making most appointments available through…
  • vaccine 5895477 1280
    February 19, 2021

    County Shifts Vaccine Priority to 65 and Up and Food Workers

    On Monday, residents 65 and older, along with food manufacturing, grocery store and restaurant workers will be eligible for a vaccine at one of the county-supported clinics. Prioritization will be given to those with server illnesses, such as cancer or kidney disease. The decision to expand…
  • vaccine 5926664 1280
    February 17, 2021

    The County Still Faces a Vaccine Shortage

    Two months into Sonoma County’s vaccine rollout, 19% of the adult population has received at least one dose. The county is keeping up with other Bay Area counties in vaccinating residents and has opened up dozens of clinics, but the biggest problem has been the same since day one: the county isn’t…
  • vaccine 4946480 640
    Feb 10, 2021

    The County Reaches for More Vaccine Data

    Officials say Sonoma is administering vaccine doses at a faster rate than similarly sized counties. On February 10, officials announced the county…
  • final 4896425 640
    Feb 09, 2021

    The County Compromises on Eviction Limitations

    On February 9, Sonoma’s Board of Supervisors voted to place more limitations on evictions during COVID-19. The amendment limits evictions to extreme…
  • Feb 06, 2021

    Sonoma County Extends Stay-At-Home Order

    State public health officials have extended a Stay-Home Order for the 11-county Bay Area region, including Sonoma County. The move comes as COVID-19…
  • vaccine 5873170 1280
    Feb 03, 2021

    The County Promises an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

    Earlier this week Sonoma County reaffirmed its commitment to vaccinate the oldest seniors first, those 75 and older. Younger seniors were told to be…
  • corona 5174671 640
    Feb 03, 2021

    What We Need to Know: COVID in Sonoma County

    What are the current county restrictions? Sonoma County is currently in the most restrictive purple tier of the California’s Blueprint for a Safer…
  • Nurses protesting outside of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital. Photo courtesy of the California Nurses Association.
    Jan 31, 2021

    Santa Rosa Nurses Demand Safe Staffing

    UPDATE: Earlier this week California’s Department of Public Health halted the staffing waivers. The State says they will not accept any new…
  • injection 5722329 1920
    Jan 27, 2021

    Sonoma County Opens its First Clinic for Oldest Seniors

    Sonoma County is following the state’s guidance to prioritize seniors ages 75 and up in its vaccine rollout. While there’s progress and hope in the…
  • Student doing homeowork.
    Jan 21, 2021

    County Strategizes Reopening Schools

    Covid-19 is rampant in Sonoma County and spreading faster than ever, which means kids are still stuck at home. While vaccines are being rolled out,…
  • pbs
    Jan 13, 2021

    PBS Employee Makes Controversial Statements on Hidden Camera

    Julian Wyllie of CURRENT news reports in a story entitled "PBS Distances Itself from Former Staff Attorney Ensnared in Project Veritas Sting," that…
  • COVIDdec2020
    Dec 06, 2020

    Understanding the New Regional Stay-At-Home Orders

    Regional Stay Home Orders will go into effect within 24 hours in regions with less than 15% ICU availability, and prohibits private gatherings of any…

NorCal News Radio

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.