Halloween comes twice for kids in Sitka. The preview is on Alaska Day. Kids line the parade route with their sacks open, ready to catch candy thrown by the different marching groups. Sometimes the candy catch can seem a bit challenging as the candy is thrown from the top of the cherry picker used to deice Alaska airlines planes in the winter. The candy lands hard. Fortunately tie Coast Guard flyover does not drop candy, the Guard leaves that to the guys with the bags of candy following the marching members of the Coast Guard.
I chuckle watching our elected officials hand out candy to junior constituents. Pork rinds would seem more appropriate. Our state senator says he handed out 1500 pieces, or 45 pounds, of candy. (According to the census there are around 1790 kids in Sitka under 18, not all attend the parade. Multiply those 1500 pieces by other candidates, the Coast Guard, Fire Department, Alaska Airlines, GCI Communications, and several churches. That’s quite a haul per kid.) Will we see dental coverage on next year’s legislative docket? U.S. Senate Candidate Kelly Tshibaka (She/her) must approve of good dental health. Her marchers only handed out brochures. I saw more candy wrappers littering the street after the parade than political brochures. As a kid we never got candy for attending a parade, we got little flags to wave. I wonder if this is a Sitka thing or if it is normal now?
My favorite, though, is our locally owned grocery store, whose parade entry is people pushing shopping carts full of bananas, handing them out or tossing them. There were some nice banana catches and a few near misses, and a few people tossed them back into the shopping carts. I saw a couple of three pointers. Congratulations to Roger Hames for providing healthy snacks. This year his son, Andrew, was not handing out bananas. He is now the High School music teacher and proudly led the marching band!