Lake Bluff wasn’t going to let a little snow and cold get in the way of its annual Halloween tradition of passing out hot dogs and other food at the public safety building. Instead, a little fun was in order.
“Back in my day, I had to walk 15 miles to trick-or-treat in the snow! Barefoot! Uphill! Both ways!” said Kathleen O’Hara, village president and retired principal of Lake Bluff Middle School in a news release saying the festivities would go on as planned. “Our kids are avid walkers in the cold and will still be enjoying themselves in the streets tomorrow night.”
On the big night, O’Hara was in her usual spot, passing out hot dogs, candy and soft drinks to the ghosts and goblins and other costume-clad adults and children. She was joined by current and former members of the police and fire departments and other officials in what has been a long-standing Halloween staple.
O’Hara said the statement echoed the village’s collective sense of humor.
“That’s what we like to do. Halloween is a really big day for us,” she said. “We have a lot of fun. It’s great with the police department and all of the local businesses contribute. Everybody comes out.”
Cancelling the celebration wasn’t even considered, she said.
“It’s always the adults that are hesitant,” O’ Hara said. “This is nothing for the kids. This is Lake Bluff at its best. Informal, a little crazy and having fun.”
While attendance was down in comparison to other years, there were plenty of hearty walkers in search of candy. Among them was William Daniels, 10, dressed in a Bears sweater, a cigar and slicked-back hair resembling a certain former coach named Ditka.
William is too young to remember Ditka on the sidelines, but the coach remains a favorite of his father Drew, who gave him the idea for the costume.
“He had the hair and he loves the Bears,” Drew Daniels said, undaunted by the weather.
“Let’s do it. Game on. Only time of year you can pull this off,” he said. “The hot dogs are all warmed up and we are ready to hit the road.”
Daniel I. Dorfman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.