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Mother Nature unable to dampen Massena Halloween spirit

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MASSENA - Despite an evening of on-again, off-again rain drops, Massena residents were in the Halloween spirit Thursday evening.

Lifelong Massena resident Mac Shoen has carried a decade-long tradition of displaying dozens and dozens of carved, lit pumpkins surrounding the perimeter of his North Main Street residence and despite this year’s weather the tradition continued.

“I had a vegetable garden, and I didn’t have time to keep it up so I turned to the pumpkin batch. My son, when he was in college in Vermont, there was a place that used to light up the whole mountain side so I kind of got that idea from them,” Mr. Shoen said. “It took about five hours to carve all of the pumpkins. I began growing the pumpkins in May, during the normal season.”

In the 10 years of his unique project, Mr. Shoen said that he has had a high of 95 pumpkins and a low amount of 20.

Mr. Shoen works as the finance director for Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, located in Potsdam.

The carving maestro explained that the impressive display may not necessarily garner extra trick-or-treaters, but definitely draws extra attention around the neighborhood.

“I don’t think it affects the number of trick-or-treaters. Sometimes though neighbors will be sitting out at night and cheering (my wife) and I on,” Mr. Shoen said. “I don’t plan on stopping with it anytime soon.”

Mr. Shoen admitted that his neighbors “probably think I’m crazy,” but he continues with it. “I’m still a child at heart. ... It’s a good way to light up the area and add something to the community and the neighborhood.”

Elsewhere in Massena, trick-or-treaters were scurrying around neighborhoods, dodging the nasty weather and picking up their favorite treats.

Some particularly young costume wearers were out and about, getting their first experience of the holiday, such as Vincent Jarvis, who was accompanied by his parents, Frank and Aimee.

“This is his second Halloween. He is a veterinarian this year and last year he was a cowboy. He’s having fun so far,” Frank said.

Meanwhile, some who stayed home to dish out the treats felt the rainy weather decreased the number of candy-goers and others did not notice any negative affects.

“We usually do (get trick-or-treaters) but this year, I’m kind of sad. Last year we had definitely over 100 and this year we haven’t gotten 50 yet,” Gina Kearns said.

“We get between 100 and 125 every year and it’s been really busy tonight. I was surprised because of the weather,” Nancy Fregoe said. “It was supposed to be really bad weather but so far it’s been really good.”

Village police said it has been an extremely quiet Halloween night.


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