(Just one of the many props that was part of the Halloween Brae Crescent Carnival created and organized by Austin Durling. Photo: Stittsville Central)
With a return to the Halloween haunting evening after a year off due to COVID, many more trick and treaters could be found going door-to-door in Stittsville on Halloween night. Young and old were thrilled to see the spookily creative lawn displays, the incredible costumes and a spine-tingling Carnival of clowns and eerie props for those who took part.
We are providing a collage of photos from in and around Stittsville, the amazing Carnival on Brae Crescent and scenes from the Pumpkin Parade. But first, a little about the events.
The Carnival walk-thru on Brae Crescent was the inspiration of Austin Durling, with a little help from Dad, Michael. Austin told us, “from about the beginning of October, I came home every night from work and started to work on putting the idea into reality. I started by collecting pallets to start building the props. The artwork was all painted by my partner, Coco, and it would not have looked as good as it did without her artistic flair.” Austin wanted to give back to the community, not only with his amazing display (we walked through – scream!), but by accepting donations for our local food bank. Austin was pleased to tell us, “we collected $370 in cash and 240 non-perishable items for the Stittsville Food Bank“. We asked if he was going to continue the tradition next year and he hopes to make it larger and more frightful. Do not miss Austin’s Carnival next year, we guarantee you will be creeped!
Throughout Stittsville there were some amazing decorated homes – it seems everyone was in the spirit. Including the staff of Councillor Gower – Isabelle, Gabby and Amelie – wearing their costumes, along with Councillor Gower who gave out candy at Stittsville Village Square on the afternoon of Halloween. Councillor Gower created and made his own original costume to portray “CouncillorBot3000”. With the Halloween tradition returning this year, we’re sure Stittsville residents went all out to make it extra creepy for our community to enjoy.
We dropped in to Station 81 of the Ottawa Firefighters to chat and see the many costumed youngsters who dropped in for treats that the Station team were handing out. We spoke with Josh Rukavina, who is a 4-year member of Station 81 and is following in his father’s (Marty) footsteps as he was also posted at the station. Josh told us, “with the current health guidelines the crew felt it was safer to hand out candy from the station as opposed to travelling the streets of Stittsville, although we will miss the sights and sounds of Halloween night”. We were a little excited to learn that the 1929 GMC truck – that had been refurbished to become a pumper and served the community of Stittsville until 1959 when a new, but used, pumper was purchased – was in the station and running again. We were able to snap a pic to share in the slide show below.
The Stittsville Pumpkin Parade was a hit. As is usual, Trevor Eggleton organized another fabulous community-minded evening filled with eerily carved pumpkins. Attendance was high for the event, but everyone following the guidelines in place. There were some unusual, beautiful, creepy and traditional pumpkin carving that took place by residents and much to the delight of those in attendance.
The Pumpkin Parade is hosted by the Stittsville Village Association who help out with the set-up and this year purchased some of the gift cards for the judged pumpkin contest to give back to the local business community. It was great to see so many Stittsville youth helping to carry the pumpkins into the park for those who wanted to enter the contest.
The prizes for the carved pumpkin contest were numerous again this year from our local businesses – with Covered Bridge Brewing providing a gift pack, four $25 gift cards from Quitters; a $100 gift card from Browns Your Independent Grocer, a photo shoot from FitPix Photography; and, a $1,000 Halloween home decoration (for 2022) prize from Intenseffex.
The winner of the Intenseffex grand prize was the Hodgdon family of Stittsville with their entry – Darth Vader of Star Wars fame. Dad Corry took five hours to carve the pumpkin and celebrated the win with his daughters Dallas and Kersyn, along with his wife, Lexi.
This year ToastyToes teamed up with the Pumpkin Parade and set-up collection bins to accept donations of socks for those less fortunate. They were also accepting cash donations. Eco West Enders also helped out with the pumpkins. They collected them at the end of the evening to be delivered to some local farms for the animals to enjoy. Karen Swerdfeger of Eco West Enders said in their Facebook post that, “We didn’t get a firm number of pumpkins collected but I can tell you it was 3 truck beds and 2 trailers full”.
Here are some photos that Barry Gray shared with Stittsville Central from the Stittsville Pumpkin Parade:
Here are some further photos in a slide show, just in case you haven’t seen enough!
It certainly was a hauntingly fun Halloween 2021!