30 Oct 2023

Building community:

Halloweekend Fun: Relume Halloween Pet Contest, Hill Family Biking and a BIG thank you!

Halloween comes tomorrow and, along with it, the temperatures will drop and the splendor of this second summer will be gone. But on Saturday, October 28, I got to experience two joyful events that were both unique, wonderful, and simply the best Capitol Hill has to offer. The third is just a cherry on top for a terrific end to Spooky season on the Hill:

1. Halloween Pet Contest at Relume

When we first heard that Howl to the Chief would not be holding their Halloween contest this year, we were very sad. Howl to the Chief’s contest at Lincoln Park has been a bright spot in the local Halloween festivities for well over 10 years, and it was sorely missed by readers –– especially on Instagram. Lilly Crown Wilder, owner of Relume on C Street SE, said she’d be up for the challenge. And a challenge it was, considering the contest was about two weeks away at that point. But a little internet magic brought people and pets together and seven excellent contestants emerged, including Denali, a very senior doggo who looked very fetching in his crocheted afghan and Sally, a spunky cat who showed us all why it’s called a catwalk. Judging the contest along with Lilly and Barry Margeson, manager of Eastern Market, was so much fun. And as we said in our Instagram recap, every pet who came through is a winner. Thank you all!

2. Hill Family Biking Spooky Ride featuring highlights from our Spooky Hill is Home map

Hill Family Biking is a grassroots organization whose aim is to make biking fun and safe for everyone. Thanks to the tireless organizing of neighbor and friend of the blog Mark Sussman, as well as a growing contingent of volunteers who help document and marshal the monthly bike rides, a Hill Family Biking ride is a joyful experience. While I did learn to ride a bike a in Bogotá, exactly one block away from the Ciclovía, which has revolutionized urban biking since 1974, I’ve never felt comfortable riding a bike. However, thanks to the kindness of Amber Gove, ANC commissioner and volunteer with HFB, I joined the ride from the pannier seat of her e-bike, possibly the greatest seat in the house. From there, I was able to see not just some of the incredible decorations around the neighborhood, as the ride was curated with landmarks from our Spooky Hill map, but also the happiness radiating from the riders as well as people watching from the sidewalks and even their cars.

Seeing many local middle schoolers riding alongside sleepy toddlers in baby bike seats and scrappy little ones getting their first rides in, it’s a stark contrast with other District children their same age who are turning to crime. It’s my hope that Hill Family Biking’s model is copied and amplified across all neighborhoods so that more kids can enjoy biking safely.

3. Costume collecting success for the Hopkins community

The Hill is Home readers helped collect TWO HUNDRED costumes for the Hopkins Costume Collection, which benefits the little ones living in the Hopkins Apartments, a low-income housing property located along L Street SE, between 13th and 14th Streets SE. Every year, the community holds a costume parade and they try to make sure every child has a costume for themselves. Thanks to neighbors like friend of the blog Allison McGill, the Hopkins community has been able to make sure our youngest members have an extra sweet Halloween. THANK YOU ALL WHO DONATED! Your kindness and generosity make this community special.

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