CALDWELL, NJ - Thousands of northern New Jersey residents flocked to Bloomfield Avenue in downtown Caldwell for the annual Halloween celebration on Oct. 31.
Over 100 businesses on that main thoroughfare opened their doors to offer children and adults candy and other treats, while the First Presbyterian Church hosted an elaborate "Scary Walk,” on All Hallows Eve, a/k/a Halloween, which is so named because it is a 24-hour period preceding All Saints Day, Nov. 1.
Among those establishments was Guerrero Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Celebrating at that location were five West Orange dwellers: 12-year-old Danny Pereira, Sandra Guerrero, Johnny Guerrero and third-graders Lucia and Sofia Pereira.
Costumed revelers came from as far as Livingston, West Orange, Newark, Paterson, Hackensack, Morristown, Galloway and New York City to enjoy the ambiance and to collect bags full of goodies.
“I still live here and my kids went to high school at West Essex (Regional); they live in Florida now, but they always come home and bring their kids to do Halloween on Bloomfield Ave., it's a real tradition!” enthused Mary Ortiz, a Caldwell resident.
Ortiz, who used to live in Roseland, was dressed as the villain from the movie “The Incredibles,” while her daughter, Stacy, a member of the Wessex Class of 1999, her son-in-law, Charles Bencomo, and their children, Cristian, 3, and Julian, 4, completed the look by donning the outfits of the Incredibles, themselves.
“Why am I the villain? Obviously because I'm the evil mother-in-law in real life,” joked Ortiz, adding, “We do this every year. We started when my kids were young and, even now that they're adults, we're all still dressing up for Halloween and we start off our celebration by coming to Bloomfield Ave.,” she added. “It's just great.”
“This is wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” echoed Delia Delatore of the afternoon which saw seemingly unending lines of people streaming up and down a stretch of about ten blocks of what is officially designated as Essex County Route 506.
“We came here all the way from Paterson because we heard that this is always just terrific and, to tell you the truth, it's even better than people told us,” she said.
“This is our first time here, but I'm pretty sure that we're going to make this a tradition for our families,” assured Delatore, who was accompanied by two friends and a total of five children, with all eight of the Passaic County residents in costume. “We're having a great time and the kids really, really love it.”
The First Presbyterian Church raised money to send its high school choir group on a trip by hosting a “Scary Walk,” which featured a journey through the darkened facilities replete with ghosts, monsters, zombies and even a mad scientist and his lab.
“Halloween is always a wonderful day here in Caldwell and we're having a wonderful time,” summed the church's music pastor, Barbara Piercy, a Verona dweller who was dressed as a wicked witch, as she stood at the building's main entrance and beckoned to those who were brave enough to enter the church and enjoy the chilling challenge.
To see more photos from the event and to “like” the TAP into West Essex Facebook page, click HERE.
All photos taken by Bill Allen-NJSportAction.NET