For three days after the first snow of the year there has been a persistent drizzle in Québec City. The rain, however, in no way dampened the spirits of the gaggle of giggly girls I escorted around the neighborhood this evening. Their costumes were drenched, their hands frozen; but Halloween went on as planned thanks to their persistence and determination
Halloween is a big deal in Québec City. Throughout the Old Capital, witches, ghosts, and autumn squash of all sorts adorn private and public space alike. The front lawn of the city hall, in fact, is the site of a Halloween shipwreck this year; an old-world sailing ship (the symbol of the city) has run aground there and its cargo of multicolored pumpkins has spilled all over the mayor’s yard. And in the Joan of Arc Garden, a manicured annex to the Plains of Abraham, the cobbled paths are lined with ghoulish exhibits memorializing the sordid tales of Québec City’s past.
The five nine-year-olds under my charge had only one thing on their minds. Their progress toward that goal was helped by the willingness of this father to carry 5 dainty, unused umbrellas that turned out to only hinder the girls’ access to free candy.