Halloween is a big deal for many people in Lantzville. The kids plan their costumes and their routes for weeks. They always remember which house has the best decorations and of course, the best treats.
Generally kids start to trick or treat around 6 p.m. Most of the community tries to be done the door-to-door aspect of the night early on, so they can be at Seaview Elementary School for around 7 p.m. People of all ages head to the school parking lot for the Lantzville Volunteer Fire Department's giant bonfire and yearly fireworks show.
Rain or shine, Lantzvillians come out in droves for the bonfire, which starts at 6 p.m. and continues until after the fireworks. We are all in awe of the truck load of pallets burned for the firefighter controlled blaze and we marvel at how high the flames go. At 8 p.m., the fire department gets the loud, colourful and impressive fireworks display started.
It is a terrific evening where people chat and mingle by the fire, enjoy free hot chocolate and hotdogs from the Lantzville Market and delight in the fireworks show.
The kids (and some adults) show off their costumes and gorge themselves on their new candy. It is good, old school fun.
Fire Chief Tom Whipps says the bonfire and firework tradition precedes his 30-plus years at the station. It is just the thing they love to do every year.
To make this Halloween community event happen the volunteer firefighters raise money with calendar sales and the "boot" donation after their big light show. He says they do the fireworks to encourage people to come out and not spend their cash on a risky fireworks display at home.
Lantzville has a fireworks bylaw and the fire department and city hall are attempting to educate residents on it.
If someone does want to shoot off fireworks on their own, they need a permit. You can only get this if the fire chief does a site visit.
If you are approved, he has the permit holder go and inform the neighbours for several doors each way so humans and pets can be prepared for the loud noise and lights.
Whipps suggests people go to www.lantzville.ca to check under bylaws for more information about the fireworks permit.
We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween.
Kim Plumley writes about Lantzville
© Copyright 2013