It is 1:00 o’clock Oct. 29. The cloudless day is warm and pleasant, and the trees have just turned to their brightest red and gold. Monsters on Mainstreet, sponsored for the 13th year by the Brookfield Historical Society at the old train station is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

In response to an email asking for volunteers, I drove over to offer assistance. Surprise! There were 30 or more people already waiting with their children on the front lawn, waiting for the festivities to begin.

At the station, Kit and Kathy Ketchmark were safely ahead of schedule, setting up. There were tables across the front porch, and decorations in place. Roughly 600 pumpkins were piled on the porch, ready to be handed out from a nearby table. Sixteen boxes holding a total of 500 taffy apples, 12 gallons of cider and bags of Styrofoam cups, were laid out on the porch and inside the station. A table against the wall held 12 Halloween shopping bags with prizes, each for a best costume award. Kit was finishing the connections to his son T.J.’s music system for some lively music throughout the party.

With an hour yet to go, the lawn was beginning to fill and music was playing. The sidewalk was streaming with children and parents, coming mostly from Prairie Avenue.  With already hundreds of people at the train station the crowd was building. The Prairie Avenue intersection was a sight to behold. Children and parents everywhere. The landscape was filled with beautiful costumes and happy faces, Mike Garvey, the village president, and a Brookfield policeman were furiously directing traffic.

The families formed a line and the volunteers passed out the treats. Each child received a taffy apple, pumpkin and cider. In all, there were 480 taffy apples, cups of cider and pumpkins given to the children. Then the very popular costume contest was held and the judges awarded the 12 Halloween bags with exciting prizes to each of three different age groups.

All those who contributed to this extraordinary event should feel a sense of satisfaction, given the wonderful outcome. This Halloween party has become traditional and the turnout has increased each year. Without Kit’s commitment of time, and even some of his own money, this might not have happened. Fresh leadership is needed to take over some of the activities for the future. This is a great thing. Let’s keep it going.

Sponsors for the event: Brookfield Chamber of Commerce and First National Bank of Brookfield for the pumpkins, Berthel Lewis Electric, Montessori Children’s Community, Fleck and Uhlich Accountants, Betty’s Flowers, True Value, CVS and the Brookfield Historical Society for the rest.

Pat Downey
Brookfield