When did Halloween carnivals become fall festivals?

I'd like to talk about the Halloween carnival Winfield doesn't have.
I have been gone from Winfield many years now, but I still keep my finger on the pulse here. Back in the 60s and 70s, we always had a Halloween carnival at the armory with cake walks and a haunted house, which was put on by the high school science club. A "box" was borrowed from Miles Funeral Home, and I laid in that coffin myself and would rise up with fake blood flowing from my eyes and scare the bejesus out of whoever walked in.
We trick or treated. We rolled principal Brasher's yard. In later years, we stood watch against other schools coming over and defacing the Pirate name, rolling the field, etc. We even had water balloon fights between two pickup trucks. Just like knights jousting.
Somewhere between that time and now, the local religious community has attempted to dilute the true meaning of Halloween. No more Halloween carnivals from what I hear. Now, you have "fall festivals.”
How did you folks come to this sorry state? Most of you would get bent out of shape when we say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” For you, it seems the meaning of the season has been removed. So you know how I and others feel about Halloween and your falls festivals.
You have no business trying to usurp yet another holiday in the name of Christianity. What you do in your own yard is your own business, but when you expect a whole town to live a certain way because of your religious beliefs, you're wrong. It's time someone spoke up and put you in your place. Lucky me...
A carnival needs sponsors. You businesses need to step up here. And a carnival needs a venue, a place to enjoy the evening to come. Don't worry about going to hell. There is nothing associated with Halloween and Satanism except Hollywood movies that say so. And certain religious people who believe everything they read.
You have a chance to save this and give your kids and grandkids the kind of Halloween we had. I beg you do so.  If the religious don't want to go? Stay home with your bawling kids that do.

Danny Collins
Baker City, Ore.


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