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First small steps toward Halloween 2019 in Fairview

October 16, 2019

This modest-looking Fairview Halloween display may look last-minute at first glance but on second thought it’s fiendishly good.

Halloween—that autumnal equivalent to the pagan rite of spring—is just getting underway in the parts of Vancouver I tend to haunt.

As of Tuesday (October 15) there were, as yet, only a scattering of pumpkins and other yard and balcony displays to be seen in the Fairview neighbourhood. (not to mention Mount Pleasant.)

In truth, it was still a week too early for the majority of Vancouver residents to be thinking about scaring up Halloween decorations.

All the same, I like to give a scream shout-out to some of the early adopters.

Leaf your troubles behind and party like it’s 1999 BCE

Not to excuse putting off yard work but raking would clearly detract from the Halloween-ness of this particular Fairview display.

Halloween, like Christmas, has deep, pre-Christian roots. But unlike Christmas, stripped, a millennia ago of its associations with the winter solstice, Halloween happily continues to be haunted by the spirit of pagan harvest festivals of yore.

At the same time, Halloween is a hugely popular party time with kids and adults alike—in no small part because it is joyously free of any of the emotional baggage that can cramp the simple enjoyment of both Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties.

Spooky “Flying bat” leaf seen atop the roof of a car parked on a Mount Pleasant Street, October 15.

As observed in Vancouver, Halloween makes its first tentative appearance in the first weeks of October, with the actual start time varying wildly by neighbourhood, by block and often by house and apartment building.

I generally expect the creative yard and balcony displays to slowly grow in number in the second week and then multiply exponentially in the third week of the month—especially in those areas of the city rich in single family homes.

The tripping hazard of the small chair is the only, really scary touch in this East Fairview Halloween display.

Finally, of course, everything wraps up at the end of the month with door-to-door trick-or-treating for lucky kids and varying degrees of wild partying for adults.

Given that October 31 occurs on a thursday this year, the culmination of this All Hallows’ Eve will almost certainly extend two days into the weekend that begins November.

As for when it ends, Halloween always lasts as long as the last pumpkin on the last porch. Click the images to enlarge them.

Don’t worry, Fairview’s famous pumpkin carvers are just getting warmed up.

  1. Hi Stanley, I had to check those two front stairs more than a couple of times to prove to myself they were different.Next you sent be back to look at my calendar. I remembered looking a few weeks back and thinking to myself “good its on a weekday and that will limit the mayhem”. Then I read your post telling me its on a Friday and we can all party till the cows come home. I dont know about you Stanley but my party days are long behind me. Its on a Thursday according to my Chihuahuas colander . October features a Tea Cup Chihuahua


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