by Kevin M. Smith

Let’s face it, this is tough year. We’re looking at an election year, a pandemic, social upheaval, and no short amount of social anxiety, even amongst those who are not generally inclined towards it. We’ve already experienced quarantine, and with a new spike in CoVID cases, might be looking at a second round of quarantine and restrictions. Small businesses have struggled, and we’re looking at high unemployment rates.

It’s been a crap year.

But Halloween is the perfect holiday for a Pandemic. It’s the only holiday that calls for wearing masks.

Sure, socially distanced trick-or-treating is problematic, but not impossible, and different people are applying the sort of ingenuity you see in craft breweries in solving this problem – PVC piping, gutters, and a variety of other contraptions are being used to deliver candy to trick or treaters.

That’s not to say I don’t miss a good Halloween celebration with family, friends, or some of my favorite craft producers. Many a Halloween past I would spend taking my kids along 3rd Street in Frederick – going up one side from the cemetery, all the way to Bentz Street (and beyond once they were older), and then back. In recent years, when we were done, I would retire with the kids to Olde Mother on North Market Street where I would grab a beer and the kids would sort through their candy.

After a beer, we would head home, and the wife and I would pop a horror film on the television while the kids got ready for bed.

It’s always been a favorite holiday – dressing up, candy, harvest beers, finding that one time of year when I’m no stranger than anyone else. It’s generally a good day.

This year, like everyone else, I have no idea what to expect; how many kids are going to trick or treat at my house? Will we have a lot left over? Will the pandemic, or the predictions of tonight’s cold weather keep the Halloween revelers away?

Personally, in spite of all the uncertainty, I still intend to enjoy this favorite holiday of mine. I will dress up, I will hang out with the small, limited group of people I associate with, I’ll have a couple of beers with them while my oldest progeny hands out candy, rocketing it down a tube into some small kid’s sack, or plastic pumpkin. Then I’ll head home, crack another brew with my wife as we wind down the evening with a horror film. And hopefully, a good time will be had by all.

Until next time, be well, stay safe and healthy, and drink some quality craft beverages.

Happy Ale-o-ween!