Nearly 20 years ago, Gwen Campbell and Brie Garrison were Westport moms and friends. Each had a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old.
Their kids were too little to trick-or-treat. But Halloween was coming, so the women approached First Selectman Joe Arcudi with an idea: have a costume parade up Main Street.
Gwen and Brie printed flyers. Stew’s donated cider and cookies. The Bedford Middle School band played.
The Westport News was there.
Writer Harold Hornstein described “the panorama of precious little people.”
He described 3-year-old Michael Friedman, dressed up as Mets star Bobby Bonilla.
Ryan Fazio — also 3 — was an airline pilot. He said he wanted to take Concorde to California.
Johnny Fable, 2, was a kitty cat.
A scene from last year's Halloween parade. (Photo courtesy Matthew Vinci/The Hour)
“I can’t believe this many kids showed up,” said Gwen (dressed as a witch).
Police Department inspector Steve Smith — “I came as a cop” — estimated 150 children paraded from the YMCA to The Limited (now Vineyard Vines).
“This is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” added spectator Nina Morse.
Writer Harold Hornstein predicted, “From the amount of tots, it might well become an annual fixture.”
The organizers’ kids grew older. They moved on to actual trick-or-treating (and, perhaps, Mischief Nighting, then high school — and now college — partying).
The Garrisons moved to London. The Downtown Merchants Association, PAL and Parks and Recreation Department took over the event.
This year’s event got rained out. (It was not the 1st time.) Still, tons of kids — and camera-wielding parents — gathered at Town Hall, for the traditional cider and cookies.
No one was dressed as a Concorde pilot.
Then again, in 1993 no one came in a Kim Kardashian costume.
There’s no telling what the cool outfit will be 18 years from now, in 2029.
Hopefully though, kids will still parade up Main Street a few days before Halloween.
And today’s participants will look back at photos of their then-3-year-old selves, and look forward to the day their own children will dress up for their own Halloween parade.