All About Richland

A Mansfield Halloween, 100 Years Ago

22 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

There are events taking place across Richland County over the next several days to commemorate that unique holding known as Halloween. You might wonder how was the holiday celebrate a century ago.

Let’s find out.

“When the bands blare and the joyous cry of children fills the city, when grotesque and unique costumed merrymakes fall in line for a grade parade about the city, and confetti and squawkers and laughter and noise in general can be heard, you will know that Hunt’s annual Halloween festival is under way, and that everything has been prepared to make this the grandest autumnal event the city has ever witnessed.”

Such was the description of Mansfield’s Halloween festival in 1921, 100 years ago.

Local Halloween celebrations at the time were hosted by Fred Ralph Hunt of Mansfield, owner of the city’s oldest newsstand, eventually located at 96 North Main Street. The event grew so large that it was said that downtown looked as if “…a giant had poured confetti and serpentine and other miscellaneous debris over from way up in the air.”

Downtown Parade — From the post office on Fouth Street to a review stand in Central Park, where entries would climb a platform, march before judges. The parade lasted an hour.

Dancing –– Two dance halls were open.

Presentation — A “travesty” was presented in Central Park which organizers said would be “uproariously funny.”

The Tuesday, November 1 edition of the News Journal talked about “thousands” people taking part on Haloween. Costumes seen included those of a ghost, rube, cavalier, skeleton, cannibal, comedian, and animal. The feared appearance of the local Ku Klux Klan did not take place, it was noted.

Sources: Mansfield News Journal, Find-a-Grave; mage by No-longer-here from Pixabay

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