Over the years, Halloween in Pine Bush has grown to be a festival like atmosphere, safe for children and families, well decorated and highly attended. The hamlet has welcomed costumed visitors of all ages and if the porch light is on, and the magical words of “Trick or treat,” are spoken, treats are given out.
“I noticed a social media post two years ago,” said Raquel Martinez, “that I thought was very nice from a parent in the school district who brought her children here to Pine Bush for Halloween. She thanked those who live here for making it so great.”
Raquel and her husband, Chris, owner of DeWitt Martinez Funeral and Cremation Services, talked it over and last year, just two weeks before Halloween they posted their idea on Facebook. They asked for candy donations to be dropped off or shipped to the funeral home located at 64 Center Street and received thousands of pieces of candy.
“We knew we easily had 500 kids at our door by 6 or 6:30 p.m. Being able to hold a candy drive and give to those who want to participate but cannot afford to buy that much candy, including those on a fixed income, would allow more people to hand out candy and see those kids in costumes,” said Raquel.
There is a collection bin on the porch of the funeral home and all are invited to drop off or send donations which will be redistributed to various homes throughout the hamlet of Pine Bush.
Chris added, “This is also a kick-off for a few of the other programs we participate in and invite the community to join us. Check our social media for details about how to donate to the Sweaters for Veterans which we complete in time for Veterans Day, this involves bringing new as well as lightly used sweaters to our veterans at Castle Point. We have also been doing Stockings for Soldiers for six years which involves filling and sending stockings to our soldiers overseas. Finally, we hold a candlelight memorial mass at the Church of the Infant Savior here in town.”
Asked about their own Halloween plans, Raquel shared, “I would love to someday have a Trunk or Treat here. I just really enjoy the enthusiasm and spirit in Pine Bush. We come from big cities and really appreciate how nice this is, and how safe it is and want to keep that vibe and tempo going. I might also be a little competitive about how exciting it is over on New Street. I’d love to get Center Street up to that level,” she smiled.
The Martinez family includes daughters Valentina, age two who plans to dress as Cruella de Vil and Viviana who will be one in December and will wear a dalmatian costume. “We are so very grateful for the community for their outpouring of support and look forward to Halloween.”
Donations will be accepted until October 27 before candy is redistributed. Halloween is celebrated on October 31 in Pine Bush between 5 – 8 p.m.