The weekend weather was mild and it allowed for plenty of outdoor work to get done. It’s time to turn off the outside water, put the hoses away and lower storm windows. Scarecrows and pumpkins dot the landscape these days in all parts of town. Remember to be mindful that at 2 a.m. next Sunday morning, Nov. 3, we will return to Eastern Standard Time, and the days will grow dramatically shorter.

On Thursday night we celebrate Halloween. Its origin dates back at least 2,000 years to an ancient Celtic festival. The American tradition of trick or treat dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. Poor people would beg for food and were given pastries called soul cakes. By the 1920s Halloween had become a community holiday with parades and town-wide parties. Today we spend an estimated $6.9 billion on the holiday annually making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.

A roundup of Halloween parties follows:

You are invited to the West Tisbury library’s annual Halloween party and please come in costume. It will be held on Thursday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Grange Hall. There will be hay rides and all sorts of Halloween refreshments and games. Also from 6 to 8 p.m., the park and recreation committee is sponsoring a Halloween party at the Agricultural Hall. There will be games, prizes and refreshments. Children are invited to come in costume.

The annual Fall Scarecrow Festival is here and scarecrows have sprung up all over the Island! Island businesses get a scarecrow erected in front of their stores in return for making a donation to the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. Mid Island Auto has a big one in front of its garage. Over 75 scarecrows can be seen around the Island through Oct. 31.

On Monday there will be a meeting at 5 p.m. to discuss a work service trip to the Mama Bakhita Center for Disabled Children in Livingstone, Zambia, to take place in March. It will be hosted by Marsha Winsryg, director of the African Artists’ Community Development Project at her home at 20 Road to Great Neck. They will show video footage of the center and discuss what the experience will be like. The center is small and beautiful in a rural setting near Victoria Falls. Call Marsha at 508-693-4059 for information and directions.

Tara Whiting, town clerk, reports that she does have 2014 hunting licenses; 2013 licenses and stamps are available from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from the town clerk. You will need to bring a hunting license from any previous year or a hunter’s safety course card.

Archery season for deer is into its second week. John Varconda, manager of the Manuel Correllus State Forest, reminds people who enter the forest to wear bright-colored clothing to be on the safe side. Be extra careful when driving, as deer are apt to cross the road day or night.

Robin Perschel, Katie Alley and staff members at Segal Podiatry on Pond Road attended a conference recently in Danvers where their boss, Jay, conducted a lecture.

Marjorie Pierce reports that the annual CROP Walk will take place on Sunday. The CROP Walk starts at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven at 1:30 p.m. The First Congregational Church has been a leader in this event for many years. In previous years, they have raised as much as $5,000 for the CROP Walk. Twenty-five per cent of funds raised from the MV CROP Walk are given to the Island Food Pantry. For help with registering or donations for the walk please contact Marjorie at or the CROP Walk leader Rev. Alden Besse can be reached at 693-3930.

Stephanie Dryer reports that last Sunday was a glorious day for the 16 Martha’s Vineyard Horse Council riders who headed off into the state forest. The 6.9 mile marked trail with a dozen jump obstacles took about two hours for most teams. A potluck lunch awaited riders at the end of the trail as well as a handful of spectators. Two new members signed up and four renewals were added to their membership list. Donations made to the Martha’s Vineyard Horse Council scholarship fund were well over $300. The horse jump crew consisted of Chrissy Arenburg, Tara Whiting and Ms. Dryer. They wish to thank Jen Rand and Claire Harrington for their help early on in the day, and to everyone for pitching in at the end to leave the state forest as pristine as they found it.

Tomorrow from 9 a.m. to noon, the Island Boards of Health will sponsor its annual free flu clinic at Waban Park in Oak Bluffs and at the West Tisbury School. Ninth grade enrolled students and anyone older are all eligible to receive the vaccine at this clinic. Bring a registration form and wear short sleeves. It is advertised as a drive-through clinic and you can stay in your car and get vaccinated!

On Oct. 27, 1947 the Grange sponsored a very successful costume party for 35 children and a large number of adults in the Agricultural Hall. The party opened with all the children in costume marching around the room so they could be judged. First prize for the most attractive was won by three-year-old Karen Barker dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, second went to Carol Spencer in costume as Cinderella and third went to Margaret Duquette, who dressed as a little old lady. First prize for the most horrible costume was awarded to yours truly, second to George Churchill and third to Judith Cronig. The hall was attractively decorated with festoons of cr ê pe paper decorations and the windows latticed with orange and black paper, lanterns and pumpkins were hung including a witch peeping out from the parted curtain on the stage. All of this work was done by young ladies of the Grange — Marjorie Manter, Alice Magnuson, Virginia Rabello and Elizabeth King. Games were played and the refreshment table fascinated the children with its decorations of doughnut men with candy faces made by Lillian Magnuson. She also served cider, Halloween lollipops and other treats.

Happy birthday to Stephanie Fesko, Dana Street, Carol Koury, Doreen Rezendes, Hunter Moorman, Glenn Hearn and Maureen Fisher today; Sid Counsell, Laura Roosevelt, Lisa Nagy, Paul Magid and Sarah Bergeron tomorrow; Barbara Child and Crystal Parrot on Sunday; Brian Alwardt, Travis Wood, Elizabeth Patterson and Barbara Moment on Monday; Fran Finnegan, Joe Capobianco, John Bugbee and John Adams on Tuesday; Lisa Epstein, Olivia DeGofroy, Patricia Szucs and on Wednesday, and Laura Entner, Raymond Tocik, Marjorie Solan and Elizabeth Luce on Thursday. Belated birthday greetings to Caitlyn Kirkland, David Corriveau and Louisa Gould.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s column. If you have any news please email me at Happy Halloween everyone!