'Frankenstorm' postpones some Halloween celebrations; officials urge caution, curfews
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Walking down Main Street in a webbed skirt and a yellow shirt with a black bat decal, 5-year-old Madelene Galloway of Tarrytown wasn't fazed by the village's postponement of Halloween until Friday.
"I got free Halloween," she said, pointing to her mother's package from A Nu Toy Store -- where they were handing out candy -- and a craft she'd made at the library.
Dozens of towns and villages in Westchester and Rockland counties were putting out the word Wednesday -- through email and text alerts -- that Halloween will have to wait until the weekend or longer, because of downed power lines and debris left by Hurricane Sandy. Some of the festivities to be delayed are in villages like Irvington, which attract Hudson Valley residents from miles around to celebrate on small-town streets.
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"It symbolizes the wonders of a small-town community. Everybody loves it," said Susan Feder, who along with her husband, Todd Gordon, poured 750 cups of hot cider for trick-or-treaters on Irvington's Jaffrey Court last year.
Businesses in Tarrytown were trying to make up for any disappointment. Dressed in orange and black, with a witch's hat, Marlaina Bertolacci offered free ice cream toppings to her customers at Main Street Sweets. Her 14-year-old son, Kai, said Halloween would be better on a Friday, anyway.
"I'm happy. I can stay out a lot later," he said.
Feder and other residents said some kids might be disappointed, but agreed with public officials that unlit streets aren't safe for costumed youth.
"Getting power back up and public safety is far more important than candy and cider," Feder said.
Westchester County's top government official has been asking parents to take warnings about storm damage seriously. County Executive Rob Astorino, the father of three young children, urged parents to be extra careful about letting their kids trick-or-treat Wednesday.
"While Halloween is a night that kids always look forward to, this year it is especially important for parents to exercise extreme caution due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy," Astorino said in a statement. "Anyone living in neighborhoods where power lines and trees are down and electricity has not been restored should not go out to trick-or-treat. In places where things have started to return to normal, parents should exercise careful judgment and common sense."
In Yonkers, Mayor Mike Spano is asking residents to postpone festivities until Saturday.
"It is potentially unsafe to have our children out on the streets," Spano said. "This is a public safety matter -- exercise caution and common sense."
Frank Azzariti, of Yonkers, said his two sons were thrilled at the prospect of candy-hunting on the weekend.
"If they had school they would have to trick-or-treat after school. On Saturday they have all day -- more candy, more time," Azzariti said.
And, never fear, the delay won't cancel the 15-year tradition at Irvington's "Cider House."
Feder and Gordon will put off a weekend trip to make sure their cauldrons are steaming hot for Halloween, even if it is two days late.
Halloween Continues Indoors
Greenburgh: Youth encouraged to stay off streets. Halloween Party at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Theodore Young Community Center, 32 Manhattan Ave.
Ossining: Youth encouraged to stay off streets. DARE Halloween Wednesday, 6-9 p.m. at the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center, 95 Broadway
Suggested Halloween Postponements/Cancellations
Dobbs Ferry -- Friday, 4-6 p.m., Cedar and Main Streets
Irvington -- Block party 4-7 p.m. Friday, trick-or-treating during and after
Hastings-on-Hudson -- Recommends staying home. If not, trick-or-treat between 4-6 p.m. Curfew at 6:30 p.m. for youth under 21
Harrison -- Nov. 9
New Castle -- Nov. 7
New Rochelle -- Toddler Halloween Bash at 84 Davis Ave. canceled
Nyack -- 6 p.m. curfew, new date to be announced
Pleasantville -- Canceled
Port Chester -- Port Chester Recreation Department Halloween Program 5:30 p.m. Friday, Port Chester Senior Center, 222 Grace Church St.
Pearl River -- Chamber of Commerce trick-or-treating canceled
Sleepy Hollow -- Friday
Town of Stony Point -- Saturday
South Nyack -- 6 p.m. curfew issued
Tarrytown -- Friday
Yonkers -- 6 p.m. Halloween curfew on Wednesday; mayor asking residents to trick-or-treat on Saturday