Halloween, celebrated each year on October 31, originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Over the centuries, it has transitioned from a pagan ritual to a day of parties, costumes, jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating for children and adults.
Fairfield has embraced this tradition over the last few years and it has become one of the biggest events in our community’s social calendar. Many families go to great lengths to decorate their houses, the effects becoming more impressive every year. It is near impossible to outdo ‘Boonel’ Walk’s spectacular show, but many households come close!
It’s all really good fun and brings the whole parish out to admire the displays, share in the excitement and enjoy being pretend scared. But, sadly, we seem to have done too well: the news has got out that Fairfield is the place to go for Halloween, and people come from far and wide in their hundreds. This year the roads were blocked and the grass verges churned up by irresponsibly parked cars, drivers became frustrated and careless, many houses ran out of their sweet ‘treats’ and it seemed that the streets were clogged with folk from the whole of Bedfordshire! One small child summed it up, crying “Mummy, I’m drowning in people!”
So what is to be done? What would happen if emergency vehicles couldn’t get through? Do residents’ rights to access their homes trump other people’s rights to join in the fun? Is there something to be said for keeping it in the community, for our own children’s safety and enjoyment?
This is all up for discussion at the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 14 November. You can write to the council ahead of that date with your thoughts and ideas, or go along and speak. We all know what the issues are; rather than an endless discussion of the problems, councillors are keen to make this a forum for pragmatic and sensible ideas for how to go forward.