Ghouls and Goblins take to the streets of Montpelier in search of candy Wednesday night, but for many, sweets aren't the main attraction.
Wednesday, before beginning a night of trick-or-treating, Montpelier pre-schooler Vaughn Richardson prowled one of his favorite haunts. The home and lawn of neighbor Bonnie Bertolino is decked out with more decorations than she can count.
Vaughn could hardly contain his excitement as he moved from one inflatable decoration to the next. "Look at this, ooh, bats," he exclaimed to his mother and our camera crew.
"We come, I don't know, about once a week as a little reward for being good at school," explains his mother Britt Richardson. She says he's been much better about putting his shoes away this month.
Bertolino decorates her home every year for almost every occasion. She says Halloween is her favorite holiday, but this year, Sandy almost pulled the plug on her display. "I took it down Monday almost totally," she said, "and then at four o'clock (Tuesday) I started putting it back up because I couldn't stand it."
Downtown costumes outnumbered cars during Wednesday's rush hour as businesses welcomed everyone. One youngster dressed as King Kong. He held a Barbie figurine; his father carried a miniature sky-scraper replica and attachable plane. Other get-ups ranged from an electrical outlet to the entire Simpsons Family.
"I love seeing all the kids and all the parents, many of them dressed up too," said Pat Carstensen as she greeted those who stopped by Bear Pond Books.
As the day faded into night, the Bertilino's display - as well as their home-made chocolates - drew hundreds. "Last year we broke the record with 1,053," Bertilino said. She cooked up more than 1,200 this year but fell just short of the previous mark.
Bertolino says she's never had a parent question her home-made chocolates because most who arrive at her door either know her, or have friends in common. She says Halloween is becoming even more special, as the children of the first kids who trick-or-treated at her house more than 20 years are popping up on her doorstep.
Richardson says her son Vaughn will start asking to come back by February.