by Michaela Quigley
I am seven years old, and it’s the Sunday before Halloween. My alarm is singing so I jump out of bed almost as fast as I do on Christmas morning. I look at my costume hanging up in my closet and think of how excited I am to show it off later. I can’t help but smile at my princess outfit. This is one of my favorite days of the year: the day of the Halloween parade.
Now, I am seventeen years old and it’s the Sunday before Halloween. My alarm is beeping and I roll out of bed sleepily. I go downstairs and make some coffee to wake up. After having a few sips, I realize that today is the day of the Halloween parade. I can’t help but get a little excited and feel like a child again.
The Halloween parade has always been one of my favorite events in Woburn to attend. When I was younger, I used to never miss a parade. My family and I prepared all morning for this event. My house was filled with the aroma of my mom’s famous anise cookies and her chili. I always spent the morning transforming myself into a princess. This entailed putting my dress on that my mom and I spent hours picking out from the Disney Store. I used to also spend my time putting a wig on and making sure that no strand of hair got loose which would reveal that I am not really a princess. Not only did I put on a dress and a wig, but my mom put makeup on me; I truly felt like a princess.
When the clock struck 12, it was time to go to my grandfather’s house. The entire neighborhood watched the parade together at the end of their street. As a child, I was shy so my chair was always the one next to my grandfather‘s. As the parade finally reached us, I watched in amazement. My favorite part was catching the candy. My grandfather used to ensure that I had more than any of the other kid on the street.
After the parade ended, my family and I went back to my grandfather’s house to eat dinner. As we filled out stomachs, we used to discuss which float was our favorite and who had the best costume. We spent hours chatting about life with each other.
Being seventeen, a few things have changed. Depending on the year, I watch the parade at my grandfather’s or watch it with my friends. My family does not all go to my grandfather’s, but I still enjoy spending the afternoon with him. Since my sister and I are the only ones that go to my grandfather’s, we don’t get to eat the delicious chili and cookies that my mom used to make. The parade is not an entire day event anymore.
I also do not wear a costume to the Halloween parade. However, I will admit I still do spend as much time preparing for the afternoon as I did when I was younger. I have to take the time to pick out an outfit and make sure it matches my pea coat and favorite scarf. Then I have to shower and straighten my hair which is a process.
Although some things have changed, many things remain the same. I still look forward to seeing who has the best float. I debate whose was the best with the people I am watching the parade with. Also, when someone throws candy at me, I still run and dive for it. Who doesn’t love candy? Whenever I see someone in the parade, I feel like they are a celebrity. I shout out, “Hey, I know them! We are friends!” Then I call their name and hope they throw more candy at me. Another thing that will never change is my reaction to the gunshots. Although I do not have to get up and leave the parade, I still have to cover my ears.
My love for the Halloween parade will never change. Although some of the traditions do not remain the same, I will always wake up with a smile on my face the Sunday before Halloween.