On Oct. 31, Long Beach’s youth will dress up as their favorite scary, funny, pretty (or otherwise) characters, parade around in their costumes, and knock on their neighbor’s doors in hopes of a trick or a treat.
But how will they know which doors to knock on? Well, the ones with a Jack-O-Lantern of course!
Lighting up a carved Jack-O-Lantern has been the standard, neighborly indicator for who does and doesn’t partake in the candy-giving traditions of Halloween.
From past experiences, we know that just about every block will have somewhere between three and 50 Jack-O-Lanterns (educated estimate) this year, which means at some point, the week before Halloween, many people on every block in Long Beach will be carving pumpkins.
So, why not join the City-Wide Pumpkin Carving event on Saturday, Oct. 27???
Can you imagine what we could accomplish in Long Beach if literally thousands of blocks held a pumpkin carving? If tens of thousands of neighbors came together on one day for just 30 minutes and carved pumpkins together and talked? Can you imagine the power of something so simple?
It’s certainly possible, and it just takes a little initiative from you (whoever is reading this). All you have to do is tell We Love Long Beach that you want to participate and they’ll take care of the rest! They’ll provide the supplies and give you signs to advertise to your neighbors; all you have to do is show up on your own front lawn on Oct. 27 and greet your neighbors.
Scott Jones, along with his sister Robin, are the founders of We Love Long Beach. Their main goal is to inspire and equip neighbors toward the good and to flourish all of the neighborhoods in Long Beach.
He’s passionate about the potential events like the City Side Pumpkin Carving have for Long Beach.
“We Love Long Beach believes neighborliness is not just a nice idea, but it is the backbone of living in a safer, healthier, and more flourishing neighborhood. Many residents, over time, have forgotten how important relationships with our neighbors are beyond borrowing a cup of sugar and a few eggs.”
The pumpkin carving is an awesome event. What’s so great about it is the absence of pressure and awkwardness. It’s a fun activity and something that you were probably going to do anyway. It’s laid back and you don’t have to force conversation. Just bring your pumpkin over, use their supplies, and maybe chit-chat a little if you feel like it.
It’s so easy and the potential impact is so important. Over the past few years, hundreds of neighborhood blocks have participated. But this year, why not have more?
Many hosts have already signed up, including Brad and Nancy Simmons who live in Carson Park. They are excited to welcome new neighbors this year.
"We have three new families who have moved onto our street this year. We’d love to have an opportunity for us to get to know them better and show them they made a solid decision moving here!"
Cristal Pearson in the South of Conant neighborhood explains, "Bringing the neighborhood together gives me a sense of community and makes me feel safer. The Pumpkin Party is a fun and easy way to build stronger, more trusting relationships with our block neighbors."
We Love Long Beach are strong believers that true neighborhood safety lies in neighbors knowing each other. Scott Jones explains his philosophy on safety—a philosophy that is growing in popularity with experts across the globe.
“Everyone we've talked to in the last 10 years wants to live in a safe neighborhood for raising their kids and as they grow older, but we often believe the myth that police will make our neighborhoods safer when all the research shows it's knowing your neighbors that makes us all safer,” Scott said.
So if you’ve ever thought of it before, here’s your chance to take a step toward a safer, friendlier neighborhood. It’s regular people like you who are hosting these parties. You don’t have to be super outgoing, know a lot of people, or even be good at carving pumpkins. You just have to take that first step.
"We don't know many of our neighbors with children and would love for our daughter to have an opportunity to make new friends on our block and hopefully with their parents and us as well. We want all of our neighbors to feel welcomed and care for,” said Sam and Courtney Steward of Wrigley Neighborhood.
That’s what it’s all about. If every block was getting to know their neighbors through a Pumpkin Party or some other neighborly gathering, we believe that over time our neighborhoods would be safer, less lonely, and more joyful places to live.
See you Saturday, Oct. 27!