Many communities have a signature event that sets them apart from others. It's their claim to fame. Their annual extravaganza. Events range from mega-productions like the long-running flowery flotilla, the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California to the testosterone fueled Run-A-Mucca Motorcycle Rally in sparsely populated Winnemucca, Nevada.
In the Village of Sleepy Hollow, New York, it all comes together on October 31st. Halloween. All-Hallows' Eve. The day before the Day of the Dead. If you've ever heard the name Sleepy Hollow you are probably familiar with the namesake tale penned by American writer Washington Irving in 1820. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow the climax comes when hapless Ichabod Crane is pursued by a Headless Horseman through a cemetery. In the story, the cemetery where the abbreviated equestrian chases Ichabod is actually the Old Dutch Churchyard which adjoins present day Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, but never mind it's close enough for marketing purposes. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was originally named the rather uninspired Tarrytown Cemetery and the Village of Sleepy Hollow didn't change its name from North Tarrytown until the late 1990's
Ah yes, the cemetery. Ask the proverbial man-on-the-street to conjure up an image of a cemetery and it's likely he'll envision something akin to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Sleepy Hollow has it all; spooky lilting 18th century death's head tombstones, twisting narrow roads, majestic mausoleums and magnificent statuary, perfectly placed onto a hilly woodland canvas. It's a cemetery with a capital "C". It's the perfect place to spend Halloween. Most cemetery administrators are understandably skittish about Halloween. The goblin-centric holiday often brings out the worst in people and because cemeteries have relatively low security, they are often vandalized by tombstone topplers and mayhem makers. Not so for Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Administrators and the nonprofit Sleepy Hollow Historic Fund look forward to it. It's party time or more specifically, lantern tour time.
Read the rest at Gadling.
By the way, Gina Misiroglu of Red Room put me in touch with the Gadling/AOL people, which is one of the great ways she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.