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05 Nov 2013

Lions, Tigers and Bears on Nantucket

Remember the scene from the Wizard of Oz when the Wizard presents a ticking red heart to the Tin Man and suggests that “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others?” If there is a sliver of truth to this, then Nantucket’s heart must be filled up and overflowing on a daily basis with so many people who love the Grey Lady and her traditions. This ubiquitous affection is never more present than during island-wide celebrations that give young and old, residents and visitors, seasoned revelers and first-time participants an opportunity to let their hair down and have some good old fashioned fun.

The “yellow brick road” (or cobblestone paved Main Street as it were) looked like a scene right out of Oz last Thursday night as hundreds of costume clad enthusiasts gathered downtown for the annual Trick or Treat parade and candy gathering festivities. The streets were brimming with creepy goblins, wart faced witches, green slimy alligators and a giant yellow banana…and yes folks, those were just the “grown-ups.” The kids were equally creative with appearances by Glinda the good witch, owls, dinosaurs, Mr. Blue Man and even a couple of Dorothy’s. The plastic pumpkins were overflowing with candy bars and lollipops and shouts of “Trick or Treat” and “Happy Halloween” resounded as the enthusiastic crowd paraded their way up Main Street.

As I watched the scene unfold from the steps of our Main Street office, I was reminded that while this island may not be Oz…there can be no denying we’re certainly not in Kansas…or Iowa…or anywhere on the mainland…anymore.¬† Nantucket is its own kind of Oz. It mesmerizes new visitors with its beautiful beaches, historic homes, delicious restaurants, unique shops and charming cobblestone streets. Those same magical qualities are at the core of why so many have chosen to put down roots on the island and for those who have been here for generations it’s why they’ve never left. But beyond the obvious…the beauty and charm, the good food and lovely homes…there is more – so much more. The people of Nantucket…the ones who don crazy costumes and those who prefer to tag along in street clothes…who close their businesses early to hand out candy or snap photos…who gather together whenever an occasion presents itself to share some laughs with fellow neighbors and celebrate island life…that is what is at the heart of this enchanted place and would no doubt have Dorothy clicking her red shoes three times because there really is no place like home.

If you missed the festivities¬†on Thursday, be sure to add a Nantucket Halloween bash to your bucket list for next year. You can join the ranks of the Tin Man and Scarecrow on Main Street…or perhaps join fellow goblins and ghouls at weekend parties at Lola 41 or The Chicken Box. Wherever you choose to celebrate, you can be assured there will be no shortage of tricks or treats, lions, tigers or bears.

Oh my…

Shellie Dunlap

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