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Trick-or-treating fun any time

There was no mistaking who was Kara’s Mommy.

A large, brown makeshift sign graced the front of Christi Daniels’ shirt, proudly announcing her as “Kara’s Mommy.”

“And this is her Daddy,” Christi said with a smile, turning around to display a cardboard cutout photo of her husband, Todd, in his military uniform.

“He’s still in Iraq … but due back in week,” she beamed.

The signs were more than just impromptu Halloween costumes. They were an important introduction for Kara and her family, who had just moved into the Orange Street area when they joined their new friends for a neighborhood trick-or-treating event on Thursday.

“We literally just moved in,” Christi said. “We have packing boxes everywhere. That’s what these are … tops of the moving boxes. We have lots of them left. In fact, if you know of anyone who needs moving boxes, I have plenty.”

Christi Daniels’ cleverness wasn’t lost on her new friends. “These are just the cutest costumes I’ve seen, “ said Heather Bunn, who organized the neighborhood event. “Look, even Kara’s baby doll has her own tag.”

And so did Kara’s Grammie, Jane Carter, in town to help the new family settle in.

Of course, moving to Orange Street means Kara, Christi and, when he returns, Todd will find plenty of friendly and helpful neighbors.

“This is just a great neighborhood,” Bunn said with a smile. “You should move over here.”

She’s right, of course. The Orange Street area has the unique charm of a downtown neighborhood … houses with plenty of character and architectural interest and front porches, to encourage visits with neighbors.

Young families, with lots of creativity and energy are making the neighborhood their own, building friendships and memories for the children each and every day.

On Thursday the neighbors gathered together for their own Halloween fun, a day early to avoid conflicts with football games and such. Costumed children of all ages went door-to-door, gathering goodies and enjoying the comfortable fun of trick-or-treating with friends. Hayrides, a pumpkin-carving contest and a neighborhood supper were all part of the fun.

And while Kara, who’s only 18 months old, may not remember her first trick-or-treat on Orange Street, chances are she’ll learn to treasure the event as the years past. The simple things – holidays shared with neighbors and friends, the traditions that spring from a small-town atmosphere, and the smiles that come from getting to know new friends – are what make a place “home.”

If Thursday is any indication, the Daniels family will be right at home on Orange Street and here in Troy.

Stacy G. Graning is publisher of The Messenger. She can be reached via email at stacy.graning@troymessenger.com. Pictures from Orange Street’s Halloween activities can be found online at www.picturepike.com.