Our Massive Halloween Trick-or-Treat Blowout

Personal    2015-11-02

I think we might have out-nerded ourselves this Halloween.

Our neighborhood does Halloween big. Almost every house has been decorated since the first week of October. A block over, they close off the street for a street party, and one of the houses hosts a family-friendly band that plays until around 10pm. People sit out on their lawns and grill while they're handing out candy. And we've got four churches within a two-block radius - all four of them hosted parties on Halloween afternoon, so afterwards all the kids spilled out into the surrounding neighborhood.

Photo: Andrew Dupont

A post on the local community forum warned that we should expect more than 100 kids. I got at least 15 pounds of candy, and we went through all of it.

But Andrew really took it up a notch. While I was handing out candy, he kept count and showed the results on a scrolling display.

This project was all him, I had nothing to do with it - I just wanted to brag about him a little. He wrote a quick Ruby app and put it up on Heroku.

As the kids came by, we used a browser interface with a few simple buttons to keep a count. And as we updated the total, the display sitting in the window updated with just a few seconds' delay.

The code is all up on GitHub, with a detailed README, if you want to check it out:


Our final tally was 250 trick-or-treaters. At that point we ran out of candy, but the neighborhood had gotten pretty quiet by then anyway.

On a side note, Avengers seemed to be the popular costumes for the night (for both boys AND girls). We also had 11 Elsas, which we counted in a more conventional way.