Montclair’s Halloween Parade: A blast from the past

MONTCLARION: October 26, 2012

Tucked in the crawl space of our house is a box. It’s an orange and black bin that holds decades of Halloween memories. Every year, I dust off the cobwebs and pop off the plastic lid to reveal costumes and makeup and candles and corncobs. This year, I dug a little deeper.

Two slightly frayed bee costumes lined the bottom of the bin. Two simple striped garments that took me back to 1995 and the Montclair Halloween parade. I don’t think I’ve sewed anything since, but I made those bee costumes by hand, that year, for my 5-year-old Kara and 2-year-old Anthony.

What fun it was to march with my kids and their friends and families. Merchants clapped and shoppers waved and this simple Halloween parade spread smiles all over town.

It’s long overdue, but I’d like to say thank you to the Montclair Lions Club for keeping this tradition alive. This year’s parade forms at 3 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Montclair Park entrance near Bank of America, then kicks off at 3:30 p.m. The best viewing is along Mountain, Moraga and La Salle.

ON STAGE: It’s been 53 years since “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway with Mary Martin. If you want to treat yourself to something warm and nostalgic, see this time-honored musical in an intimate venue like the Julia Morgan-designed Berkeley Playhouse. The show, with its cast of 40 (including Piedmont students Danny DeBare, Charlotte Ying Levy and Malia Lee) opens this weekend through Dec.2. See

STREET SCENE: Here’s something for your bucket list — joining a flash mob. Local hip hop instructor, Jessie Nakamura, (Oakland Hills Tennis Club) is organizing a flash mob to dance at the Nov. 2 Oakland Art Murmur. He says it’s a “fairly simple dance routine” but if you’re hip hop impaired, like me, you may want to check out the songs he’s using — LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem’ mixed with Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” Practice times in Montclair Park are at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Jessie’s email is

BOTTOMS UP: Next time you pop the top on a brewski, do it for a good cause. The folks who run Oakland’s Feather River Camp are hosting an interpretive beer-tasting on Nov. 10 at the Lake Merritt Garden Center. Tastemaster Ira Bletz will be serving local brews while he talks about the history, lore and mythology of this heady beverage. The cost is $25 and you can get tickets by calling 510-336-2267.

ANIMAL TALES: Is it my imagination, or are wild turkeys taking over the planet? Everyone I talk to seems to have a flock in their yard, and the birds are destroying lawns and gardens all over the East Bay. On our street they roam in a gang, grousing and pecking for grubs in the grass. Even my cat is afraid of them. If they’re here on Thanksgiving, I may just invite one to dinner.


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